Wayne White | Managing Editor
OSAGE CITY—Partly smoky with hearty digestion is Osage
City’s forecast for April 9-10, as the seventh annual
Smoke In The Spring state barbecue competition gets underway.
The Friday and Saturday event promises fun for everyone, including
cooks and judges, classic car enthusiasts, downtown visitors
and people who just like to eat.
The main event is a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned
event that has attracted competition barbecue teams from 10
states. Corey Linton, Osage City Parks and Recreation director
and contest organizer, reported that applications have been
accepted from 84 barbecue teams.
“That’s our max,” Linton said, noting the
availability of spaces and electrical hookups for teams at Osage
City’s Jones Park. “I’ve had to find spaces
for teams and I’ve had to turn teams away.”
The event has shown steady growth since it began in 2004. In
2008, there were 51 teams; last year 64 teams competed. Included
in this year’s roster is last year’s grand champions,
Munchin’ Hogs at the Hilton, of Prairie Village, and cookers
from Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, South
Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Nebraska and Ohio. Also drawn to
the event are enough barbecue judges and table captains to support
the huge competition.
The competition offers over $10,000 in total prize money and
While the barbecue competition is the centerpiece to the event,
this year’s organizers have planned other activities for
the community and visitors.
Friday evening, the dinner bell will ring for barbecue enthusiasts
who wish to sample competition cookery, as 25 teams have agreed
to cook for the Taste of Osage City.
Advance sales of BBQ Bucks started this week at Edward Jones,
Osage City, and at Osage City Hall. The scrip money can be exchanged
for barbecued foods offered by the participating teams in a
designated area on the north side of Jones Park. BBQ Bucks will
also be on sale 4-7 p.m. April 9 at the OCPR building. Teams
choose what they cook and offer to the public, but those who
partake are sure to taste some of the finest barbecue available.
“Essentially, it is a large buffet,” Linton said.
Food will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. and will be available
“until it runs out,” Linton said.
That evening will also be the Kids Q competition, open to all
children, with two categories, 10 years and under, or 11 years
and older. Sign-up deadline for the Kids Q is 5 p.m. April 9
with a fee of $10. The competition begins at 5:30 p.m. and contestants
are given one pound of hamburger to cook however they wish.
All food must be cooked on site, and competitors are allowed
to set up their cook stations at the park wherever there is
space. Turn in time will be at 8 p.m.
“This gives the kids the opportunity to be as creative
as possible, get their hands dirty, and cook in competition,”
Another unique event planned for April 9 is a lawn mower demolition
derby that begins at 7 p.m. at the old grandstand area at Jones
Park. An admission fee will be charged.
Friday’s events will be highlighted with live entertainment.
Performing in the OCPR building will be Old Skool, a band that
will deliver a mix of classic and modern rock, country and blues.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. and will go until midnight.
The band is sponsored by Skydive Kansas and no admission fee
will be charged.
Also inside the building will be a beer garden hosted by the
Osage City Lions Club. Tables and chairs will be available inside
for anyone who wishes to sit and eat. The building will open
at 6 p.m. for the public.
Most barbecue teams will likely be cooking throughout the night
Friday, but Saturday’s competition gets underway at 10
a.m. with judges’ check-in. The contest continues throughout
the day until the awards presentation at 4 p.m. Although competitors
won’t be able to provide food to visitors during the competition,
a barbecue lunch will be offered 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. by the Osage
City Band Boosters. The fundraiser lunch will be at the Osage
City community building.
April 10 events also feature a car show at the Jones Park track,
hosted by the Twin Lakes Cruisers. Registration begins at 8
a.m. and the show will last until the 2:30 p.m. awards presentation.
In conjunction with the car show, Osage City’s Inside
Track committee will host Cruise Downtown Osage City, beginning
at 4 p.m. Spectators and drivers will converge downtown for
food, drinks, children’s and adults’ activities,
a DJ and music. Drawings will be held every 30 minutes. A number
of downtown businesses plan to be open during the cruise. Everyone
is invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of old-fashioned
Saturday night fun.
To finish off the evening, the Osage City PTA will present a
free outdoor movie at 8:30 p.m. in the vacant lot across from
the Osage City Post Office, on Sixth Street.
Programs for the events will be available at Osage City Hall,
Edward Jones, Bank of Osage City, The Osage County Herald-Chronicle
and other sponsoring businesses. For more information, contact
Linton at (785) 528-4610 or see www.smokeinthespring.com.