HURON — While the many events at Wheel Jam are taking place, smoke of a more palatable nature will be rolling on the southwest corner of the S.D. State Fairgrounds this weekend.
It’s the 11th annual Original S.D. BBQ Championships, where teams from all over will compete for the $2,500 top prize, an invitation to this year’s American Royal competition in Kansas City and bragging rights for a year.
Combined with the BBQ Championships is a Chili Challenge and the Backyard BBQ competition, both of which are still open for competitors to register.
The weekend’s food fest kicks off Friday with the F.A.T. Friday Chili Challenge. Entry fee is $20 and is open to anyone. Chili must be cooked at the contest and the People’s Choice public tasting is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday evening. For those wishing to cast a ballot, $5 will get you all the chili you can eat and a vote for your favorite.
There are two divisions - Group and Individual and cash prizes for first, second and third will be awarded in both divisions, in both the People’s Choice and Judged chili.
Top prize in the People’s Choice is $75 and a trophy while the winner of the Judged competition will take home $250 and more.
As the FAT Friday Chili Challenge is a qualifier for the World Open Chili Championship, the first-place winner in the overall judged category receives an invitation to compete in the World Open Chili Championship in Orange Beach, Ala.
In the Backyard BBQ, four different meats are provided to all contestants by event sponsors. The meats are pork butt sponsored by South Dakota Pork Producers Council, turkey breast sponsored by Dakota Provisions/ Wyshbone Market, brisket sponsored by South Dakota Beef Industry Council and boneless leg of lamb roast sponsored by American Lamb Board, South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, Kingsbury Sheep Auxiliary, De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance, Bill and Roxana Poppen and Lynn and Dianne Perry.
“The Backyard BBQ People’s Choice Contest has two methods of judging, people’s choice and blind judging with cash prizes ranging from $25 to $150 given in each division,” said assistant State Fair manager Candi Briley.
People’s choice tasting for the Backyard BBQ is Saturday, June 3, beginning at 2 p.m. and continuing until 3:30, or the food runs out, whichever comes first! People’s Choice tasting is $7 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under.
More than $14,000 in prize money will be given away during the Original S.D. BBQ Championships, which run both days, June 2-3, on the fairgrounds.
The Original S.D. BBQ Championships began in 2007 and is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. In 2016, 44 teams competed in the tenth year of KCBS competition.
So when you are done wandering through the various vehicles on display at Wheel Jam, follow your nose as it leads you to the chili and BBQ taking place during the Original S.D. BBQ Championships this weekend at the S.D. State Fairgrounds.