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BBQ Tour Stop #12: Columbus, OH

August 1, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to Columbus… Christine and I were blessed with our first grandchild, a handsome baby boy named Mason Wyatt, from our oldest daughter Tracie and her husband Nathan. They live in the Pittsburgh area which was right on the way from North Wildwood, NJ to Columbus, OH.  Since we had nine days between events, we were fortunate enough to be at the hospital for his birth and got to spend some time helping the new parents.

Because we weren’t sure when little Mason would arrive, we arranged for my mother to fly to Columbus and help. It was lucky we did as Christine was able to stay with Tracie for an extra couple of days to ease the new baby stress. The trend of heat following us to events continued in Columbus as the heat index was over 100 degrees on all three days which was fine with my mother since she lives in Kansas which was also experiencing record heat and no rain. On Thursday after set-up, we went down to Germantown for dinner at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. I was a bit concerned as I turned down the cobblestone street and saw the narrow roadway and wondered where I was going to park the big truck. Luckily I found a big enough spot and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of world famous Bahama Mama Sausages, kraut and creampuffs for dessert.

Friday was the first day of the Jazz and Ribfest and after the noon rush of the local business people coming out for lunch, it was pretty quiet until mid afternoon. We had quite a few people who remembered us from years past and were excited about getting more Weber seasonings and the cold Reser’s Potato Salad on the hot, hot summer day. As the crowds grew, we scheduled a six o’clock demonstration. Since Redwood Creek Wine was set up with us sampling throughout the weekend, we fixed the wine marinated flank steak recipe. Right as we got to the flank steak the wind picked up and tore down the street just to the right of us. It tore banners off the rib vendors tents and cleared the street of people and everything that was not tied down.

Saturday was pretty much like Friday – hot and humid, after a storm rolled through sometime during the overnight hours. This didn’t stop the crowds though. In addition to the rib vendors like Willingham’s, Butch’s “Smack your Lips”, Texas Thunder and the “Big Whig” and Critic’s Choice winner Blazin’ Bronco BBQ, were the Planters Peanut folks with a seven foot tall “Mr. Peanut”, the Ohio Lottery and Adam Richman’s Man v. Food Nation tour. There were plenty of things available to entertain people and we fed the masses Tyson Chicken Wings, Cavanaugh Sausages and Weber Gourmet Burgers. With the heat, the cold Big Bucket Margarita Lite was a HIT!

Sunday came bright and early and the weatherman called for afternoon pop-up showers. Anything to cool things off would work out for me. Boy, did I get that as around six o’clock, the organizer stopped by and let us know that a major storm was headed our way. About half way through loading things in the trailer, the skies opened up and we hunkered down in the trailer. My mother even called home and held the phone out the trailer. Rain is something they haven’t seen in the past month or two!

Columbus is always a great event but after seven weeks on the road, 5800 miles through 13 states and one new grandson, it will be great to be home. Home for five nights until we head to Milwaukee for the Wisconsin State Fair and another six weeks on the road.

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