Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whistle Stop BBQ Festival

May 1-2, 2009
Huntsville, AL

Let's just say that's pit would have felt right at home at this contest. It rained, & rained, & rained! There was water & mud everywhere but it didn't dampen the spirits of 62 pro cookers and 60+ backyard teams as they competed in the 2009 Whistle Stop Festival & Rocket City BBQ. This was DoRagQ's first time to visit the Huntsville contest and we were excited to compete against many of the top teams and certainly the largest contest so far this year. Due to a work obligation I would not arrive until Friday evening. Richard & our good friend Buck of High on the Hawg were able to get "Casa DoRag" pulled down on Thursday night to secure a good spot. Buck & Lou would not be competing at this contest so they volunteered to help and hang out! Richard, Buck, & Lou arrived on Thursday & got set up in time to attend a Mexican buffet with all you can handle Margaritas! From what I hear Richard & Blindog have a "Good Time". But you know the saying, "What happens in Huntsville....".

Richard & Buck were at it early Friday morning despite the rains and got meat inspected & prepped. All the hard work was done! All I had to do was to show up. Hey I'm kinda liking this setup but showing up wasn't as easy as it sounds. After work I set off for the 100+mile trip from Nashville to Huntsville. Once I arrived in Huntsville & found the festival site, finding my way in was a different story. Glad I had my pills with me as my frustration level was building. Buck & Richard finally found me and got me directed to the parking lot that "was not on the map". I even asked directions breaking one of the basic "Man-Rules". The Dude I asked was more lost than I was! Once I was at Casa DoRag my stress & frustration level was diminished by a cold beer. Soon it was time for the "Cooks-Meeting" but it was cancelled due to the heavy downpour. There wasn't much socializing going on, most were keeping dry by staying at their cook sites. Once there was a break in the rain we got a quick tour. We ran into Barry of Swiggin Pig, & Melinda & Mike of J-Mack Cookers. They were set up across from Voncil & Joe of Smokey Mountain Smokers. We also visited with Kathy & John of WBBB, & met Bubba & Shannon of Bub-Ba-Q. JoBeaz Blazin Butts, & House of Q were set up close to Casa DoRag. We also saw old friends Bobby of Team Bobby-Q, & George & Crew of The Dead End Society. It was great to see our BBQ Family even in the rain! The night was really quiet we mostly sat in Casa DoRag & visited with Lou & Buck. Later Joe & Voncil dropped by for a visit and a great time was had by all. With "quiet time" approaching we all decided it was time to turn in so after I tucked Richard in & read him a story I set off on my own to see what was going on, surely there was somebody having some fun. Sure-enough J-Mack had a trailer full of Kentuckians & they were having a good time! Mary Jo & Terry Stinett & friends from Owensboro, KY had come down to judge. It was great seeing them and laughing about our "past" experiences. They party "big" & when them & the DoRag Crew get together it is a LARGE TIME for sure! I had a midnight curfew so I headed back to Casa DoRag & settled in for the night.

Saturday brought the hopes of clear skies but Mother Nature was not going to cooperate. We had short showers all morning but did see some gaps with no rain. Our cook went off without a hitch except for a broken electric knife. Thanks to Swiggin Pig for the loaner! We got all 4 + desert categories turned in on time and all we had to do was wait & pack up cuz they were saying the "big storms" were headed our way. So we sprang into action & got most everything packed up before the 4 PM awards ceremony. About 10 minutes till we started over to the awards when the rain intensified! We were soaked! (note to self....put umbrella in trailer).

Blindog did a fine job as the awards emcee. The place was packed and loud. When the dust (mud) settled DoRagQ finished a respectable 16th overall out of 62 teams! We had a 17th in chicken, a 13th in ribs, a 30th in pork, and a 16th place brisket. Taking top honors was Bub-Ba-Q with House of Q a close 2nd overall. DoRag friend's Smokey Mountain Smokers finished 3rd, WBBB was 4th, JoBeaz was 5th (great job), Big & Twig was 6th, J-Mack was 10th, & Swiggin Pig was 13th. Great showings in a very talented field. A shout out to category winners JoBeaz for chicken , Bub-Ba-Q for ribs, Smokey Mountain Smokers for Pork, & Killer's Dirty Pit BBQ for brisket. Oh I almost forgot! Lou fixed a desert for us to turn in and we finished 10th! they were great Lou! Thanks!

OK, in spite of the rains we had a great time. I can see why this is the premiere contest in Alabama. Lots of people, music, food, and good times. DoRagQ will defiantly return next year and maybe stay the whole weekend (if the weather ever clears up). To all my BBQ Family it was great to see you again. Hope you all have a safe return home. For DoRagQ, thanks to Brenda & Terry for their help & support. We love you guys & look forward to many more good times with you. Richard, again you are the Do in DoRagQ. Thanks so much for your friendship & your desire to cook good BBQ. I couldn't & wouldn't want to do this without you. Gary (Nicklback)...we missed you. Hope you can join us next week in Pulaski. next is the Sundrop Festival BBQ in Pulaski, TN. In 2007 we got our 1st two calls there, in 2008 we fell flat on our pork butts. What will happen in 2009? I don't know but one things for sure, DoRagQ will have a good time, see our BBQ family, & get to cook BBQ! What else matters? Hope to see you there, drop by & give us a shout! Until next week, remember, BBQ is not just for breakfast anymore!

For a complete rundown on the contest results click here

1 comment:

Justin Kelley said...

Hey DoRag great blog and thanks for the shout out. Killers Dirty Pit team hopes to see you again soon