GALLIPOLIS — The 2017 Gallia County BBQ Festival will be held on Sept. 9 in the Gallipolis City Park from 12:00-3:00 pm. The festival brings BBQ Masters from all over the tri-state region. Teams cook on First Avenue in Downtown Gallipolis overlooking the Ohio River. For our teams, the festival begins the night before at the Cooks’ Meeting when they receive the competition meat that is sponsored by Rowdy’s Smokehouse and Catering. Each team will receive one beef brisket and two whole pork butts/shoulders.
The teams work all night at their own Backyard Cookers for a chance at sweet and smoky victory. The “Michael Cockerham Grand Champion Award” receives a cash prize of $500. It is determined by a panel of judges that combine the scores on each team’s pork and brisket entries. The “Kenny “Smooth” Siders, II People’s Choice Award” is voted on by festival attendees when they purchase BBQ samplers or sandwiches. Our Grand Champion and People’s Choice Awards are named after the winners from the very first BBQ Festival who unexpectedly passed away. Their families are invited to join us each year as we honor their memories with these awards. Each winner receives a custom River City Leather trophy.
The Festival has two voluntary categories that the teams can also enter. The “Rowdy’s Smokehouse Best Ribs Award” receives $150 cash. The winner is determined by a panel of judges from the team’s entries. The “Anything Goes Secret Ingredient Competition” began last year with the secret ingredient of Apples. Teams were challenged with this category by having to create a side dish at their cookers during the festival that had to include apples. Last year’s Anything Goes winner, BarberQ, won and was given the honor to choose the 2017 secret ingredient. This year’s teams that choose to take on the Anything Goes category will have to work with Corn Meal! This is the only category that teams will come face-to-face with judges and will be scored based on appearance/showmanship, originality, and taste. Each winner receives a custom River City Leather trophy.
Judging for the Gallia County BBQ Festival meat categories are all blind judging. Meat will be scored on appearance, tenderness, and taste. After competition meat is turned in, each team will donate the remainder of cooked pork and brisket to the GCCVB for sale to the public as a fundraiser and to determine people’s choice.
Not only do you have a chance to taste some good BBQ, there are numerous activities going on at the BBQ Festival for the entire family. We will have live music, Gallipolis Car Club Cruise-In, kids and teen activities. We invite Community Organizations to set up too.
The Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau works year round to bring folks to Gallia County to help support our local economy and we hope that the GCBBQ can help us meet our mission! We invite teams from near and far to join us at the 4th Annual Gallia County BBQ Festival! If you would like to participate please contact us by August 25th to register!
Submitted by the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau.