Rain doesn't scare avid rib lovers
A little bit of rain, thunder and lightning didn't scare too many rib lovers away from a popular annual event on Saturday, June 30.
More rain, later in the afternoon however, did move cookers and customers inside the Blooming Prairie Servicemen's Club.
The 8th annual event sponsored by the Blooming Prairie Youth Club drew four competitors.
More ribs were put on the table, and customers who braved the rain were encouraged to stay and gobble up the ribs and chicken wings. More drawings were held, and awards given to the top barbecue specialists.
The top award for the day was the People's Choice Award given the top rib cooker of the day and for the best wings of the day.
A guaranteed $250 cash award and trophy were given for first place on ribs. Winning this award was
Second and third place trophies were also given for the best ribs.
A first place cash award was given for the best wings and for the best barbecue sauce trophy.
Pork ribs and chicken wings were provided for all contestants. All cookers were welcome to arrive Saturday morning any time after 6 a.m. to begin set-up. For the competition, the rib and sauce turn-in time was 2 p.m.
The public arrived at 3 p.m. and began taste testing the ribs and wings. All cookers were expected to cook a minimum of six racks of ribs to share between the judges and the public guests.
Kids' activities were provided in the BP Fire Department Park, across the way from the Servicemen's Club.
A kids’ burger cook-off was also held with two contestants, Jayden Kvalsten, 8 and Zander Trostem. Kvalsten won the competition and received a $10 gift certificate to the Blooming Prairie Dairy Queen. He also was given a kid-approved cookbook.
Eleven taste testers saw the outcome go to the wire with Kvalsten winning by a 6-5 vote.
Kvalsten's burger was entitled the Spicy Stella Burger in honor of his baby sister, Stella. He told the crowd that he added pepperjack cheese, pickles and spinach and mixed red hot sauce into the meat.
Trostem's burger was called Zander's chili burger. He added cheese and chili beans on his creation.
Kelli Naatz, director of the Youth Club, said the event was very successful and brought in some good funding for the Youth Club.
Major sponsors of the event were: KIK Graphics, United Way and Sam's Club.
Bryce Schlichter, Andrea Kvalsten and Kelli Naatz chaired the event.