, Muskogee, OK

March 13, 2013

Chamber Notes: Join chamber in planning cook-off, car show

— Chamber Notes by Gary Perkins

Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce

We had a great preliminary planning meeting this past week for the Smokin’ the Fort BBQ Cookoff and Bluegrass Festival, with the following individuals in attendance: Brad Clinkenbeard, Linda Clinkenbeard, Cheryl Hill, Steven Hill, Russell Sain, Justin Young, Alissa Gage-Hill, David Perry, Kathy Perkins, Mike Williams, Donny Cook and myself.

Our main focus was to set the foundation for this year's event, scheduled for Oct. 25-26.

One of the main objectives was to discuss the creation of a fully-functional web site, that will interact with other Kansas City Barbeque Society events and web sites, with all the necessary information and up-to-date forms for our event.

Last year's event brought 31 KCBS teams to our town, and it is felt that upwards of 40 teams could line our streets this year.

That doesn't include the many Taster's Choice teams that participated in that portion of our festival, as well.

Alissa Gage-Hill has set up a conference call to review some web site possibilities used by other chambers and barbecue events, along with several local options.

Brad Clinkenbeard will participate in the conference call, along with Alissa and myself.

We also discussed a new logo for this year's edition, entertainment for Friday evening, a DJ/announcer for Saturday, adhering to KCBS rules for "Anything Goes" and "Kids Que" competitions, and some additional activities on Saturday for the kids — including the possibility of a carnival.

Brad also said he would like to see a new "Ice Cream Contest" added to the event.

Everyone seemed to like that idea. We also discussed a few logistical opportunities that were noted from last year.

With a few assignments made, we will meet again some time in April. With the enthusiasm shown at our first meeting, I am sure this year's edition of Smokin' the Fort will be the biggest and best ever.

Speaking of kick-off meetings, we will be holding our first Car Show Committee meeting this coming week.

Prospects for this year's event, scheduled for June 14-15, with its Friday evening Burnout contest, Loud Pipe Contest, and Cruise, along with all the festivities on Saturday with the actual Car Show, food and merchandise vendors, contests, swap meet, and entertainment, promise to make it one of the biggest and best as well.

If anyone is interested in being part of either of these committees, please give me a call at (918) 478-4780 or (918) 577-2069.

A couple of reminders — for the month of March, our Weekly Chamber Luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. each Thursday at Subway. Come join us for great food and always great conversation and town updates.

Our luncheon is open to everyone.

I would also like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their recent chamber membership renewals: Pecan Valley Golf Course, Harp's Food Store, Fort Gibson Tire & Wheel, and Mitzi and Carrigan Bradley.

We appreciate the support of all our members, and are excited about the prospects of several new chamber members currently in the works.

If you want to be part of the Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce and this great group of local supporters, give me a call at the above noted numbers or online

Also, don't forget to check out and "like" us on our Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

We will try and keep everyone updated on the going-ons through that medium as well.