Bridgeton King PIG BBQ
King Pig II barbecues Sept. 19-20
Friday, June 06, 2008
By SEAN C. McCULLEN
BRIDGETON -- The Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned King Pig BBQ competition will return to the city for a second go-round the final weekend of the summer season.
King Pig BBQ organizer Bob Crowe promises bigger will mean better this time around, when the KCBS competition comes to Sunset Lake Friday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 20.
"I'm shooting for 50 teams," Crowe said on Thursday.
Crowe is hopeful 8,000 people will attend the BBQ bash over its two days -- last year's event drew only 1,200.
"But we also only had 20 teams, and it wasn't well-advertised, or so people tell me," Crowe said. "Am I disappointed with last year? No. You learn from your previous event."
Still, Crowe admits he's "shooting for the moon."
He's spent the past eight months thinking about what worked and what didn't with the inaugural event last year.
He's been particularly busy preparing for King Pig II in recent weeks, hitting KCBS competitions throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including an 82-team event in Salisbury, Md., a few weeks ago.
And he's not just going to eat.
In fact, he says he hasn't eaten at the two he's been to so far this year, and he doesn't plan on eating at upcoming KCBS competitions in Wildwood, Yardley, Pa., or New Holland, Pa.
"I go to get teams and to get ideas," he said. "I see ideas going to the different places."
Thus far, more than three months from King Pig II, Crowe has already received seven commitments from teams interested in entering the competition.
He's distributed 52 applications to interested competitors, a majority of whom have contacted him after learning of King Pig II via the KCBS Web site.
That's not to say Crowe isn't looking for locals interested in joining the competition. He actually hopes some local barbecue fanatics will join Upper Deerfield Township's Rich and Joe Nicosia among the 50-team lineup.
"Until I actually have 50 applications in hand, anyone is welcome to come sign up," he said.
There is a $200 competition entry fee, which buys a 20-foot-by-20-foot site.
Extra space can be purchased at $1 per foot, and an electrical hookup for the two days will carry a $35 fee.
Just like last year, there will be five prizes awarded in each of four BBQ categories -- beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork.
The category prizes range from $50 to $500.
There will be a grand champion's prize of $1,500 and a reserve grand champion's prize of $750.
The two top winners also will get to take home trophies carved by chain saw artist Brian "The Ackmonster" Ackley.
At the Salisbury, Md., competition, Crowe ran into the grand champion from King Pig I -- Pigs on the Run, of Palmyra, Va. -- and they had their Ackley-carved trophy by their side.
"Everybody wants to have their picture taken with it," Crowe said. "They say it's the best trophy they've ever seen."
In addition to up to 50 competitors, King Pig II will feature live music acts, including local favorite The Jack Neff Band, food and crafts vendors, including Bridgeton Policemen's Benevolent Association Local No. 94A's famous cheesesteak stand, and a car show.
Crowe stressed that the King Pig II competitors will not be giving away samples.
"No free food samples!" he said emphatically. "That was a big complaint. People thought they could come in and just get free samples. At an event with more than 1,000 people, that would be a lot of food. How can you do that?"
Rest assured, Crowe said, there will be a variety of food available from vendors -- a group that will include several competitors.
Vending spaces are still available, and cost $250 for the two days.
Crowe hopes to make enough off this year's event that he won't have to "scrounge" for sponsors. He credited City Councilman Nick Salvatore and Jack Neff for helping him in that respect.
For more information on the KCBS Bridgeton King Pig BBQ, contact Crowe via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.