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BBQ Tour Stop #6: Kansas City, KS

May 24, 2011

The Great American Barbecue Fest moved once again, this time to the Overland Park Convention Center. Christine and I first stopped at Smoke’n Fire in Overland Park to show off the Good-One Smoker/Grill and were surprised at how many different products they stock including most of the Grate Chef products that we pass out on the road. One of the local sports talk radio stations was doing a remote along with the Baron of BBQ, Paul Kirk cooking in the showroom, which brought in quite a few folks off the street.

Once we finally determined our location, we had a chance to scope out the GAB grounds. There seemed to be a little something for everyone – a carnival for the kids, food vendors, BBQ expo area with the Midwest BBQ Institute doing demonstrations and a music stage with music for everybody.

Friday started out wet and rainy, but that cleared up as the gates opened. Saturday called for sunny skies which held up until late in the evening when threatening skies, straight line winds and torrential downpours hit the area. At awards time, we were told that a tornado had hit the Topeka area and later in the evening made a direct hit on Reading, KS.

Lil’ Smokers won Chicken, Rubbin’ it and Lovin’ it BBQ won Ribs, Sweet Beaver BBQ waxed the pork category and Maximum Loin was crowned brisket champs. Apple Market Smokers won Reserve Grand Champion while B & C Smokers took home the Grand Champion trophy! When we showed up Sunday morning to pull out, the security fence was knocked over and there was a tent/shelter wrapped around someone’s truck so the bad weather clearly hit the KC area also.

The other thing that came out of the weekend was Christine and I coming to Kansas City in our Chevy 2500 and leaving in the KCBS purchased Chevy 4500! Major thanks go out to Larry King for all the help getting the truck ready for us to take, Craig Kidwell for storing the truck and trailer. Super big thanks to our BBQ friends Chris and Jana Early who stopped on Sunday morning to help us change out hitches which normally would be a little thing but ended up taking a couple of hours and a trip to U-haul! Chris also got his American Royal entry paid for since Early Bird BBQ won the $500 for being the top team cooking with Kingsford!

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