Looking for something to eat? Have a tasty time at barbecue event

A barbecue competition planned during Vernon’s 56th Annual Homecoming Labor Day Celebration is attracting professional teams from around the Midwest, but organizers said they’re looking for more amateur participants.

The second Vernon Barbeque Cook Off is Sept. 3, and teams of cooks from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio have already signed up to compete in the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned event.

“We already have 21 professional teams signed up and we are planning for 25, but we have plenty of space in the Backyard Cook Division,” said event organizer Kevin Dougherty.

“The barbecue cook-off has become an important part of the Vernon Homecoming Celebration. It’s a real honor to be chosen again as a site for one of the KCBS competitions,” said Vernon Mayor Daniel Wright.

The KCBS, founded in 1985, is the largest cooking organization in the nation and hosts over 400 barbecue competitions each year. The mission of the of the KCBS is to educate and promote barbecue as an American cooking technique sport and art form.

This is the second year the KCBS has chosen Vernon as a site for one of its cooking competitions. The barbecue competition in Vernon is a regional qualifier for other KCBS competitions.

“We are a part of the Indian Trails competitions. There are 12 different events in the Indian Trail competitions and whoever wins the most points of all the events is the state champion and is qualified to go on to national events,” Dougherty said.

The winners of the Vernon Barbeque Cook Off will be eligible to compete in the nation’s two most important barbecue competitions, the American Royal Barbecue competition in Kansas City and the Jack Daniels competition in Tennessee, Dougherty said.

The Vernon competition is divided into two divisions: Professional, for professional teams, and Backyard Cook, for amateur cooking teams. Each division features four competition categories: chicken, pork ribs, beef brisket and pork shoulder/Boston butt. Prizes and awards are in given both divisions.

“Our competition is a great way for an amateur team to try out competitive barbecuing, because if they just want to try it they can just enter one category instead of all four. They can look around, see how it’s done and decide if it something they might be interested in,” Dougherty said.

Registration info

Here’s how to register for the Vernon BBQ Cook Off:

Also, there are still opportunities for food vendors at the weekend-long event. Contact Dougherty for details.