The heavy rain that blew in about 9 a.m. Saturday to Tonganoxie left members of the Burning Sensation BBQ team soaked but still cooking.
Although many of the 48 teams in the Leavenworth County State Barbecue Contest were able to set up under one of the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds’ open-span shelters, the Burning Sensation team, from Leavenworth, was out in the open with awnings protecting them from the storm.
“It’s been quite interesting,” team member Mike Suefert said. “I put on a dry T-shirt at 10, but you can see it didn’t last. I may have one dry shirt left.”
Al Bowen, supervising judge for the contest, said the morning’s storm shouldn’t affect the teams’ products.
“It probably made it more difficult for the teams, but it probably doesn’t hurt their cooking,” he said. “If it would have came in during the middle of the night, it would have been worse. They would have had a hard time keeping the temperatures even.”
While the barbecue contest went on, the Kansas Miniature Horse Club’s show at the fairgrounds’ arena was a victim of the morning rains, as was the Flag Day Salute planned at VFW Park.
Though the car and truck show went on at VFW Park, turnout was much lower than normal with 45 cars.
The rain was most detrimental to Fourth Street, the downtown hub of Tonganoxie Days, where many vendors closed up shop in the morning because of the heavy rainfall. However, several vendors waited out the storm for the afternoon portion of the festival.