Perfect weather conditions made for an start to the 14th annual Iowa State BBQ Championships held at Riverview Park Friday night.
The competition started its engines with the classic car show that featured nearly a dozen different cars of all years along with live music by "Endless Summer" and "Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts."
"I have been very pleased with the turn-out this year," said Event Organizer Bob Wenner. "We had 53 teams enter the competition which is more than last year and the weather has been wonderful."
T-R PHOTO BY LUKE STALZER
Hundreds of people enjoyed a perfect Friday evening at the 14th Annual Iowa State BBQ Championships at Riverview Park. The competition is between 53 teams who will go head-to-head tomorrow for nearly $10,000 worth of prizes.
Those 53 teams got a briefing on the competition Friday night from officials with the Kansas City BBQ Society which provides the judges for Saturday's championship.
"They're in charge of going over all of the rules with the different teams," Wenner said.
Despite other festivals going on in Central Iowa this weekend, hundreds of barbecue lovers came out to the championships including Larry and Joynell Raymon, of Marshalltown, who have attended all 14 years.
"It's a Marshalltown tradition and we love the food," Larry Raymon said.
Wenner said that the competitors enjoy coming to Marshalltown and to the Iowa State BBQ Championships just as much as the competition-goers do.
"A lot of the teams feel that this is a great venue," Wenner said. "There's grass and shade and a lot of the time they're always on asphalt and cement in the hot weather."
Wenner said that preparations are already underway for the 15th annual competition set for next June.
The competition gets underway tomorrow, and the community is welcome to attend.
Wenner said it's a great time to come watch the teams and catch up on barbecue knowledge.
Food vendors will be available tomorrow from 11 to 4 p.m. and the awards ceremony will kick-off at 4 p.m. with $10,000 worth of prizes.