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Great American BBQ Tour Stop #6 – Sevierville's Bloomin' Barbecue and Bluegrass

May 18, 2009
Stop #6 found Ernie and Linda Poland back on the Tour as one-week wonders while Mike and Chris Peters gathered the family and attended high school graduation ceremonies back in Missouri.

The fifth year of Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbecue & Bluegrass festival found a rainy forecast for Friday and Saturday with 43 teams in attendance. Sevierville has developed a reputation as a town that takes care of the BBQ teams and the teams respond by showing up year after year. It was the second time the Great American BBQ Tour has visited the Sevierville festival. The Tour’s parking location was once again in an area of high foot traffic, which is great for getting exposure for the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS).

One highlight of the Sevierville contest is a Kids Q event on Saturday morning with the youngsters preparing chicken thighs. Last year, a very cute little girl showed up at the Tour trailer and asked if she could use our sink to wash her dishes. Of course, we let her. This year saw no dish washers, but we did get an emergency request for some bottled water to help control flames under the chicken. We handled that request too.

Another highlight from the weekend was the results of Saturday’s dessert category being announced. The winner was a teen that made the winning Cherry-Pecan-Chocolate Cobbler, which he learned to make in Boy Scouts. Way to go.

The Friday night skies were threatening rain, but we decided to go ahead with our cooking demo and food sampling anyway. Everything started great until about half way through the chicken recipe when the rain started. We shifted everything into high gear and continued the remainder of the show. The TABASCO®, Tums, Scott and Weber Grill Creation samples were already prepared and got served from under our KCBS easy-up tent after the grilling demonstration. Rain continued Friday night and made sure everything we had was wet.

Saturday had a forecast for an 80% chance of rain but turned out to be a sunny hot day. Both demonstrations and sample periods went well and probably set records for the numbers of samples, Tour information and coupon booklets passed out. I would swear that every resident of Sevier County went by our sample area a couple of times. The sunny hot day dried all of our equipment and stayed in place until the trailer was repacked Saturday evening.

At the BBQ awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon, we found out just how prime the Tour trailer parking space really was. The trailer was parked on the street between Lotta Bull BBQ, who won Reserve, and Learn2Q.com, who won Grand Champion. They were great company to be with at any BBQ event.

Mike and Chris Peters take the Tour on to The Great American Barbecue Festival in Kansas City. The Polands are happy to go back to a retired life of judging and being Reps at great KCBS BBQ contests.

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