Barbecue again the highlight for Osage City’s Smoke in the Spring

041014-SITS-2013-GrandChampCorey Linton, Osage City Parks and Recreation director, is organizer for the Smoke in the Spring state championship barbecue competition and related activities Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, at Osage City. Linton, right, is with last year’s state grand champion, John Beavers, of Grillin’ Beavers barbecue team, Thornton, Colo., the grand champion of the 2013 Smoke in the Spring, receiving his award from Kandy Anderson, of Orbis Corp., sponsor of the grand champion prize.

There’s going to be lots of smoke in the air.

At least that’ll be the case Friday and Saturday at Jones Park in Osage City.

“It’s the 11th annual Smoke in the Spring State Barbecue Championship Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, with a full slate of activities for everybody, but good eatin’ of the most distinctive smelling gourmet will be the highlight for most,” announced Corey Linton, event coordinator, dedicated enthusiast and director of Osage City Parks and Recreation, official sponsor.

“Over the past 10 years, the Smoke in the Spring has expanded into one of the premier barbecue contests in the Midwest attracting teams and judges from 20 states as far away as Hawaii,” Linton pointed out.

Smoke in the Spring is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and is designated as a state championship offering more than $10,000 in prize money.

“Osage City has created a signature barbecue event for teams and judges, and a community event Osage City and the entire Osage County can support and embrace,” Linton said. “Our goal is to annually offer participants, judges, sponsors and the public the very best barbecue competition possible.”

In addition to the selection of grand and reserve grand champions, there’ll be winners in chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket divisions.

Last year was even more special, because Smoke in the Spring was selected by the Destination America TV Show, “BBQ Pitmasters” to host a special episode for the highly popular nationally-viewed program.

“Our episode winner, Lynnae Oxley, Portland, Ore., and the 2013 Smoke in the Spring reserve champion Rod Grey, Leawood, and top 10 finisher Dave Bouska, Chandler, Okla., ended up competing on the BBQ Pitmasters grand finale, with Rod Grey named as the grand champion,” Linton proudly proclaimed.

While barbecue is the feature, the Taste of Osage City offers the chance for everyone to get a taste of what’s cookin’.

“Everybody is invited to this special Friday evening sampling showcasing the barbecued meats from Smoke in the Spring,” Linton explained.

Starting at 5 p.m., selected teams will sell their barbecue with tickets available on site. There’ll also be music by Downward Spiral at the Osage City Parks and Recreation building starting at 8 p.m.

An additional attraction for this year’s event is a fly-in at Osage City Airport both days with vintage, specialty, experiment and combat airplanes expected to be there.

“Come out to the airport run way and view the planes,” Linton invited.

The Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto Show also is set for downtown Osage City on Saturday, and there’ll be a production of Peter Pan Junior on Saturday evening at the high school auditorium.

Complete details are available at www.smokeinthespring.com.

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