FACT: There's been an 18% increase in contest participation by members in the past year    
FACT: 64% of KCBS members own three or more grills/smokers    
FACT: 70% of our members grill-out/cook BBQ more than 25 times per year    
FACT: 56% of Americans report having a smartphone, 77% of KCBS members do    
FACT: 70% of KCBS members use Facebook    
FACT: 55% of members choose charcoal when cooking for leisure    
FACT: 23% of KCBS members work in the food service industry as a restauranteur or caterer    
FACT: Learning from friends, family and at competitions is the best way to improve cooking skills    
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Strawberry Success (Poteet, TX)

April 14, 2008
If you have ever thought about starting a festival someplace, we urge you to visit the Strawberry festival in Poteet, TX, to learn how well it can be done. We have never attended a bigger, more family-fun event in our lives.

Crowds at our KCBS demonstrations have been very good and our sampling periods provide everyone an info brochure on the Kansas City BBQ Society as well as some good recipes and coupons. Thanks to our sponsors, who are underwriting the tour, this has been an excellent way for us to share info about KCBS with people who love grilling and barbeque.

We did a food sampling outside a new local Wal-Mart store last Thursday. Grilling hamburgers with Chipotle Sauce by Tabasco and chicken breasts with Weber Kick N Chicken seasoning attracted lots of people who hoped we were selling sandwiches. Most fun was when one lady pulled up to the curb in her car and asked if we could bring her two sandwiches. "Sorry, we were just cooking samples for our later sampling period." But we could not resist...so Linda delivered some samples through her car window. It gave us the idea that retirees on roller skates in a Wal-Mart parking lot might be able to do quite a job pretending that it was a local carhop restaurant!

The staff at this Wal-Mart store made us very welcome and gave us a great parking spot for our trailer right on the sidewalk by the grocery entrance.

In fact, all of the people we have dealt with here have gone out of their way to make the KCBS Tour very welcome. We arrived at the Poteet festival grounds about 8 PM on Thursday evening and had lots of help getting to and getting backed into our parking space. Electricians were quick to set us up with a 30 amp connection for our trailer which runs everything we need.

The local food inspector was very happy with our trailer, and our new food warmer works great to keep our samples hot. Every stop seems to have some challenges, but problems with our refrigerator got very quick warranty response from a local service company. And when our wireless microphone failed just before our Friday demo, a local company that was handing sound systems on the performance stage next door to us showed up with a microphone for us to use temporarily and offered to bring us a replacement transformer Saturday morning. They came through with the new part as promised, and our wireless system was back up and working well in no time. We are very grateful to both Mission Restaurant Supply and to Century Music for making our visit to Poteet successful and to the hundreds of volunteers at the Strawberry festival who made us very welcome, and gave us a prime location to park, and to do our show. It is a wonderful festival and great place. We would come back here in a minute.

One advantage of being at a Strawberry festival is just that, strawberries. We can assure you that the Strawberry Shortcake is delicious and the Strawberry Nachos were great too.

With this great experience in our memories, we now head home for some rest and look forward to our return to Corpus Christi, TX in a couple of weeks. We can't wait to see what the "Buccaneer Days" festival there has in store for us!

Ernie and Linda

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