Appetite? Check. Dance moves? Check. You're all set to enjoy North Wildwood's 12th annual New Jersey State Barbecue Championship and Anglesea Blues Festival. The three-day event - Friday, July 9, through Sunday, July 11 - draws barbecue teams from throughout the country to show off their grill skills.
The contest's website boasts: "This ain't just grilling, this is art!"
While about 70 teams of BBQ aficionados compete to call their marinated, seasoned and grilled masterpieces Grand Champion, spectators can indulge in mouth-watering chicken, brisket and pork - all while enjoying some of the best blues music in New Jersey.
"No wonder this festival is one of our most popular," North Wildwood Mayor Bill Henfey says. "Its aroma drifts all over the Wildwoods, drawing people to it for food and fun."
Dreaming of joining the panel of judges with perhaps the tastiest job around? Some 90 volunteer judges trained in a five-hour course and certified by the Kansas City Barbecue Society will determine the winners, says Eric Shenkus, chairman of the New Jersey Barbecue Championship.
"The BBQ Championship is a classic summertime event, and combined with the Anglesea Blues Festival, it speaks of summer and America," Shenkus says.
The judging course will be offered by instructor Ed Roith beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Anglesea Firehouse, First and Olde New Jersey avenues. The class runs about four hours. Space is limited, and would-be judges must pre-register at NJBBQ.com. Cost is $50 for members, $85 for non-members.
Another requirement: A strong digestive system. On Sunday, each judge will eat approximately two pounds of meat to pick the tastiest among chicken, brisket, pork and ribs entries. Like competitors, judges come from as far away as Florida, Virginia and California.
Before bellying up to the table, judges take a solemn oath. They face Kansas City, raise their right hands and repeat the following: "I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each barbecue meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in barbecue and the American way of life may be strengthened and preserved forever."
Don't miss the opening ceremony at
4 p.m. Friday, with the Fun and Games Crew from WPUR-FM 107.3 Cat Country, and performances by James Day and Fish Fry from 4 to 7 p.m. and the Sean Chambers Band from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday's events include an all-day broadcast from WKXW-FM 101.5 (also known as New Jersey 101.5) with Big Joe Henry and a Bud Light Wing Challenge at 2 p.m.; and an Iron Chef, Dessert and Sauce Contest at 3 p.m. Bluebone entertains from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Blues Brotherhood (a "Blues Brothers" tribute band) performs with special guest Tom "Bones" Malone from 4 to 7 p.m. Frank Bey and the Swing City Blues Band closes out the day's festivities from 7:30 to
Sunday is judging day, but also time for a lot more music, feasting and fun. WSJO-FM 104.9, better known as SoJo, broadcasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Live performances continue with BD Mylo and the Go Daddys from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Grant Austin Taylor from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Judging for the 2010 Barbecue Grand Championship begins at noon, with the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Competitors will try to grill, season and barbecue to perfection in hopes of joining the ranks of last year's Grand Champion, Fat Angel BBQ, and Reserve Champion, I Smell Smoke. Good luck to all grillers - and happy eating and dancing to the rest of us.
New Jersey State
and Anglesea Blues Festival
WHEN: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, July 9;
10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 10; and
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 11
WHERE: 201 New Jersey Ave.,
HOW MUCH: Free
MORE INFO: www.njbbq.com,