At least 20 teams competed in the Hometown Backyard BBQ Bash at the Hoover RV Park on Saturday.
Scott and Suzanne Burton, a husband-and-wife team from Madison, Alabama, that goes by the name South Pork, captured the overall award in the professional division, while the Springville Fire Department won the People’s Choice Award in the corporate/first responder division.
South Pork took first place in chicken and ribs, second in pork and fourth in brisket among 15 teams in the professional division. Other teams in the overall top five were Piglitically Incorrect in second, Vallee AC Cold Smoke in third, Fat, Drunk & Stupid in fourth and 2 Men and a Pig in fifth.
In the corporate/first responder division, the Springville Fire Department took first place in ribs and second place in pork and brisket. The Corner Fire Department won first place in pork and second in chicken.
ServPro won the chicken category, and the Pelham Fire Department came in second in ribs.
People paid $10 per person to walk around to various tents and sample the barbecue, with the proceeds going to $2,000 scholarships for children of first responders in Alabama.
Chris Mileski, the marketing director for Hometown Lenders, which organized the event, estimated there were probably close to 1,000 people in attendance. He said he was pleased with the turnout, especially given that rain drizzled from the sky during most of the event.
Organizers originally had expected many more teams competing. Mileski said about 80 teams had registered as of early July, but the vast majority of them ended up not being able to come.
There were nearly 20 teams last year, which was the first year for the event. This year, the competition was sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and thus opened up to professional teams in a separate division that were judged by about 15 professional judges.
Jeremy Pierce of Alabaster said he and his children decided to come to the competition after he heard about it on the radio. “It’s going to a good cause, and we’re just trying to help the community,” he said. “It’s great. It’s a tough competition. There’s some pretty good stuff.”
Tara Poe of the Riverchase community in Hoover, came with her son, Michael. They usually attend the Pig Iron BBQ Challenge put on by Children’s Harbor at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex in the fall and decided to check this competition out, too.
Joshua and Melanie Collins of Orange Park, Florida, were staying in the Hoover RV Park on their way back home from their cabin in Arizona when they found out about contest and decided to give it a try with their three children.
When Joshua Collins found out proceeds from the event are going toward scholarships for children of first responders, he gave an extra donation, he said.
“Education is important for our country, especially for the young generation coming up,” he said.
Mileski said he expects the competition will return for a third year next year.