By Gary Perkins
"Smokin' the Fort - BBQ and Bluegrass Festival"
First — Hot Wire BBQ.
First — Wildcatters Q BBQ.
Third — Sizzlin' Bones BBQ.
First — 4 Legs Up BBQ.
First — Lotta Bull BBQ.
Third — Smoke Slinger Jones BBQ.
• Pork ribs
First — 4 Legs Up BBQ.
First — Lotta Bull BBQ.
Third — Wildcatters Q BBQ.
First — Sizzlin’ Bones BBQ.
Second — Wilcatters Q BBQ.
Third — 4:20 Q.
• Overal KCBS winners
Grand Champion — 4 Legs Up BBQ.
Reserve Champion — Wildcatters Q BBQ.
• Anything Goes — Butt First BBQ.
• Kids’ Que (under 16) — Rowdy Boys BBQ.
• Tasters’ Choice — Biggun's BBQ.
• People’s Choice — Clinkenbeard Century 21 BBQ.
• Smoker/BBQ drawing — Jen Pratt.
• 50/50 drawing — Don Kilmer.
What an absolutely beautiful and highly successful "Smokin' the Fort" we enjoyed this past weekend. The weather was perfect for having the air filled with the wonderful aroma of smokers and meat being cooked up and down all four blocks of downtown Fort Gibson.
It was a bit brisk in the morning, but not a drop of rain and very little wind to contend with. We had a record number of teams competing and spectators enjoying the annual event.
We had a total of 30 teams vying for the coveted "Grand Champion" and "Reserve Champion" titles, as prescribed by the sanctioning body, Kansas City Barbeque Society.
When all the smoke had settled, the team "4 Legs Up BBQ" was declared the Grand Champion, with team "Wildcatters Q BBQ" the Reserve Champion. There are four different categories within KCBS rules, including chicken, pork, pork ribs and brisket.
Prize money was paid out to the top ten winning teams, in several categories.
In all, we gave away more than $7,300 in cash prizes, along with many plaques, banners, barbecue tool sets and trophies to the top winners. Great bluegrass music came from the Park Family, the Meyer Family, and SpringStreet — with special thanks to Mike Williams for all the music and sound collaboration.
A great big "thank you" to all our sponsors that made the event possible. We especially want to thank Cherokee Casino-Fort Gibson, for both their substantial financial support, but also their participation in the event and for the involvement of Sue Absher Patton, on our planning committee.
Other major sponsors included the Fort Gibson State Bank, Century 21-Clinkenbeard Agency, Cook Construction, Armstrong Bank, Eastern Sheet Metal, Direct Traffic Control, Advanced Workzone Services, DBA PK X-Ray, Cook Consulting, Ross Construction Company, Tahlequah City Hospital, Yaffe Iron & Metal Works, Abbott Insurance Agency, Miller-Edwards Buick GMC, Hamblin's El Toro, Hughes Lumber Company, Charlie's Chicken-Fort Gibson, OG&E, Renfro Electric, National Barn Company/Keane Construction, Cooper Construction Company, SonBurst Graphics, Edward Jones-Mark Young Financial Planning, Budo Perry Financial Services-New York Life, Simple Simon's Pizza-Fort Gibson, Valu-Med Pharmacy, State Senator Earl Garrison, ServiceMaster Elite Cleaning & Restoration, Dave Freeling Performance, Muskogee Marble & Granite, Native American Merchant Services, EZ Mart-Fort Gibson, Dr. Michael Nelson DDS, Fort Gibson Chiropractic, Harp's Food Store-Fort Gibson, American Legion-Post 20 and last, but far from least, the Town of Fort Gibson and the magnificent job done by those that clean the town and kept us safe — the police department, fire department, local EMS crews, all those that helped with the barricades and bleachers and the city officials and local businesses that just allow us to shut the streets down for a couple days while all this goes on.
Also, thanks goes to Mark Seabolt and his group from Faith Based Therapeutic Community Corporation. They were the "worker bees." It is definitely a "team effort.”
We also want to thank all the volunteers and BBQ Committee members that made this happen. No one realizes the amount of hours and effort that is put into making this happen — especially from a few individuals.
Special thanks to Brad Clinkenbeard, Alissa Gage, Sue Absher Patton, Steve Woods, Cheryl Hill, Kathy Perkins, Linda Clinkenbeard, Tonia Cooper, Denise Bain, Mike Williams, Tim Smith, Justin Calvert and the Armstrong Bank for their Friday evening hospitality buffet.
Brad and Steve were our major sponsor-recruiting team, and Brad was also our go-to guy for getting the crews together to things done and delivering necessities throughout the two-day event.
Alissa made it happen with the gathering of all the KCBS teams and organization of their placement and the creating of a Facebook page to keep everyone informed and excited about the event.
Cheryl, Kathy, Linda, Tonia, and Denise manned the chamber booth, selling everything from more than 1,200 taster kits, along with drinks, T-shirts and the sort.
Others helped out, including Miss Fort Gibson Erin Wilcox and Jr. Miss Fort Gibson Rachel McElmurry.
Sue and other helpers from Cherokee Nation also lent a hand. Again, a group effort.
It was estimated that over the two days, more than 5,000 people were downtown.
It is definitely a great event that is getting bigger and better every year. Special thanks to all the citizens of Fort Gibson, as well as the surrounding area, for your support. You really do make the difference as you "got down in the oldest town" this past weekend.