Smithfield renews support for Slab-O-Rama
BULLHEAD CITY — For the second straight year, Bullhead City is Smokin’ With Smithfield.
The Slab-O-Rama Barbeque Challenge, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Rotary Park, was among 33 nonprofit and community barbecue events across the country selected to receive $3,000 grants from Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Emily Detwiler, director of fresh pork marketing for Smithfield, said Tuesday that the Smokin’ With Smithfield grants figure into the company’s support of competition barbecue.
Grants, she said, were awarded to applicants that host sanctioned barbecue events, and meet a number of qualifications including sufficient advertising and a guarantee of basic services for participating pitmasters.
Slab-O-Rama organizer T’shura Elias of the Rotary Club of Bullhead City said that grant applicants were asked to demonstrate how organized and well-promoted their events are, and what kind of reputations they enjoy. Slab-O-Rama, now in its fifth year, is known for listening to critiques from the teams that attend and tweaking the next year’s event.
She said Slab-O-Rama is one of just two events to receive grants two years in a row.
“I think we have just worked really hard last five years to make it the best,” she said. “We’re using the money every year to better our community. They see every time they come to Rotary Park that something new is built.”
Elias said the Smithfield grant money will be added to the prize pool, bringing it up to $18,000.
She said 62 teams had signed up for Slab-O-Rama — a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event — as of Tuesday morning, making it one of the largest barbecue competitions in the West.
This year’s event will include teams from across the country, including multiple teams from the Kansas City area, a team from Canada and a side from South Dakota.
The teams will be competing for honors in chicken, brisket, pork and ribs categories, as well as the optional appetizers, dessert, sausage and cook’s choice.
The four main categories will be set out Saturday for the public to sample and name one People’s Choice award winner.
The team that takes People’s Choice will earn a trophy, $100 and entry into the 2020 competition.
The regular categories will be weighed by KCBS certified judges, including KCBS master judges.
Elias said she’s expecting representatives of other competitions to attend to observe and look for ideas to bring to their own events.
The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and will feature a Kids ’Cue competition run by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Fort Mohave.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 7 a.m. with a Bloody Mary bar and breakfast served by the Mohave High School Interact Club.
The main event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with People’s Choice tasting from noon to 3.
The event also will include live music, vendors, line dancing, a car show and a kid zone.
Elias said she’s hoping for good weather, adding that Slab-O-Rama will go on rain or shine.
“The weather won’t stop the teams,” she said. “And it shouldn’t stop the public.”