A lot more than civic pride will be at stake Saturday during the annual barbecue.
McLouth -- Residents of this Jefferson County town will wake up Saturday morning to the smoky smell of barbecue.
The Eighth Annual McLouth BBQ Blowout, sponsored by the McLouth Recreation Commission, is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Prairie Park. About 30 competitors will be firing up their grills tonight and cooking throughout Saturday morning. Judging begins at noon.
"Just roll down your window ... and follow the smell of barbecue to the park," said Cliff Weeks, chairman of the McLouth Recreation Commission.
Ash Kick'en BBQ, Passions of the Pit and Broken K will be vying with several other teams for an invitation to the American Royal barbecue contest, qualification for the Kansas state barbecue championship, a slot in the lottery for the Jack Daniels BBQ Championship and more than $2,500 in prize money.
The competition is the official Northeast Kansas State BBQ Championship and is sanctioned by the KC Barbeque Society.
"We even have a proclamation from the governor of Kansas saying so," Weeks said.
The smell isn't the only attraction Saturday. There will be dancers, demonstrations, crafts, a chain saw sculpture, the ABATE motorcycle show, an antique gas engine show and a 4-H pie contest.
"They sell homemade pie and ice cream when they're done," Weeks said.
The McLouth Fire Department will demonstrate its Jaws of Life extrication equipment, and a Lifestar helicopter will land.
"Those guys like to fly out and get barbecue, too," Weeks said.
There will be a petting zoo for children, citywide garage sales and several other events.
The competitors may or may not have samples, but concessions will be available to sate any urge for barbecue.
"We encourage the cookers to have samples for the people's choice award," Weeks said.
The recreation commission asks visitors to make a donation to the park, to be used for improvements.
-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.