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Fire up the grills: Barbecue challenge draws professional, amateur teams

Boulder City’s annual barbecue competition is back next weekend, filling the town with food, people and fun.

The 15th annual Best Dam Barbecue Challenge runs from 4-10 p.m. Friday, May 24, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Bicentennial Park.

It is put on by the Rotary Club of Boulder City and will feature 28 professional and amateur barbecue teams that will compete in the categories of ribs, pork, brisket, chicken and total overall score, seeking their share of $12,000 in cash prizes and the right to be named the state champion.

The challenge is free to attend. There will be a rib eating contest, live music, a family fun zone and car show as well as food and drinks for sale; among the food vendors will be four selling barbecue.

In addition to the competition for adults, the Best Dam Barbecue Challenge has a children’s competition, KidsQue, for those ages 6 to 17.

“This year it’s free to enter,” said Larry Archuleta, Rotary Club member and event organizer.

The children are divided into two age groups and given chicken, grills and utensils. From there they bring their own creativity and are welcome to add any sauces, spices or rubs to their entry. There will be an instructor to help, if needed.

According to Archuleta, Railroad Pass Casino is sponsoring KidsQue and providing all the food, items and prizes. The first-place winner will receive $100, the second-place winner $75 and the third-place winner $50.

The rest of the weekend will follow the same tradition as past years. The winning barbecue team will qualify for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, as well as the American Royal World Series of Barbecue.

“It’s still a barbecue competition. … We’re still expecting 8,000 to 12,000 people for the weekend,” Archuleta said.

The barbecue challenge is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and the proceeds from it go toward a variety of organizations, including Emergency Aid of Boulder City, Lend A Hand of Boulder City, Every 15 Minutes, the Senior Center of Boulder City, the American Legion and Boulder City High School.

Additional information is available at www.bestdambarbecue.com.

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