50 teams from across the nation are gearing up for the seventh annual Shotgun Fred BBQ Showdown, taking place Saturday at the Walker County Fairgrounds.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event will serve as a qualifier for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue competitions.
Event goers will get an up-close look as some of the top pit-masters in the nation compete for a piece of the $10,000 in prizes, preparing their best chicken, pork ribs, pork, brisket, beans and desserts for a panel of certified judges.
“There’s going to be 50 teams competing from all over the United States, some of them are actually world champion barbecuers,” event organizer Stacy Lawler said.
A kids charcoal grill barbecue competition will take place Saturday morning at 9 a.m., followed by the sanctioned cook-off events throughout the afternoon, the awards program taking place at 4:30 p.m. with a raffle drawing to conclude the day.
Vendors selling anything from candles to leather goods and barbecue spices will be on site for attendees to enjoy in addition to a classic car club and Jeep club.
“We’re looking forward to getting the public out there and raising some money for scholarships for Sam Houston State University engineering technology students and supporting the memory of Fred Pirkle,” Lawler said.
Pirkle, known as “Shotgun Fred” amongst friends and family, is the inspiration behind the competition. A passionate barbecuer and engineer, Pirkle’s last request to his friends before passing in 2012 was to create a KCBS sanctioned barbecue cook off in Huntsville to raise funds for the Fred Pirkle Endowed Scholarship benefiting students of his alma mater Sam Houston State University Engineering Technology.
Shotgun Fred BBQ Showdown is free to the public and will be held at the Walker County Fairgrounds Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will take place under a covered area, guaranteeing the event to go on rain or shine.