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Polands Wrap Up In St. Louis

May 27, 2008
Rain has been the theme for our Memorial Weekend visit to St Louis. If you live in a drought area, you should consider inviting the Great American BBQ Tour trailer. We will bring it with us. Over 2 inches fell just on Sunday night, but rain impacted our cooking or sampling periods every day.

Mike and Chris Peters are the new couple taking the tour trailer on from St Louis. They are fun to know and work with, and will do a wonderful job carrying on the tour. It was a pleasure to get to know them, and teach them all we know about the tour.

We got a special treat on Saturday morning when we got to the trailer and found two very special friends from Lafayette, Indiana, sitting on our stage waiting for us. It is pretty neat when friends make a five hour drive just to say hi and help you celebrate your last weekend on the BBQ Tour. Unfortunately, rain interrupted that visit as well and they had to go looking for drier tourist sites to spend their day.

Found the highest gas prices of the tour in Illinois. We had paid $3.89 per gallon when we were in California a few weeks ago, but found gas at $3.98 per gallon here east of St Louis. Have seen some stations over $4, but have been able to avoid them. When you drive along with a big trailer at 8.8 miles per gallon, $3.98 per gallon works out to $0.45 per mile for gasoline.

Monday, Memorial Day, at the St Louis Rib Fest had all of the makings of a washout. Like we mentioned earlier, St Louis had two inches of rain overnight on Sunday night. It was raining on Monday morning early, but stopped about 11 AM. The weather radar showed a second big system moving in. Then, all of a sudden, the sky got brighter, and the system started moving south and missed St Louis. The result was an extremely humid day, but no more rain and the biggest crowds of the weekend.

We are suspicious that the person in charge of sound for the stage at this festival has issues with their hearing. The music was at ear splitting volume whenever a band was playing. To the point that even at the farthest parts of the festival area children were holding their ears. When we talked with people visiting our area or picking up samples, all conversations were at a serious shout. That has not been an issue at other music festivals we have attended, even when the stage was located closer to us than it was in St Louis.

The health department in St Louis was vigilant in checking all of the food operations during this festival, and that is a good thing. We had a food inspector in the trailer all four days we were here, and that makes this the only festival with multiple visits. The inspector today took a thermometer to our samples and found them at OK temperature. She even stood and watched the grilling demonstration that Mike Peters did, then came through our sample line and tasted our samples. The city of St Louis is to be complemented on having an excellent food health program.

Our trailer is back at our hotel, and we are ready for the drive back to Tennessee on Tuesday.

For the people who read this on the KCBS.us web site, please continue to look for future postings. We had lots of fun doing the first six tour festivals, and have truly enjoyed working with Mike and Chris Peters this weekend. They will pick up the Great American BBQ Tour starting with the CMA festival in Nashville. KCBS did a wonderful job of picking our replacements. We love KCBS and believe in the Great American BBQ Tour we will always be ambassadors for BBQ.

Linda and Ernie
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