DANVILLE — More food and arts and craft vendors and barbecue tasting opportunities await attendees at the second annual Taste of Downtown Danville starting Friday.
Local barbecue teams also are excited about showing off their skills against other teams across the state and from other areas again at the Kansas City Barbeque Society–Sanctioned BBQ competition, according to organizers.
The number of teams is approaching 20, with the cap set at 30. With 25 teams, the competition is then a qualifier event for other competitions. There were 17 teams last year.
“We’ve got several returning teams and a few new ones,” said Jasen Adam with the local team, 82’s BBQ.
Teams are coming from the Chicago area, Cissna Park, Peoria and other areas.
Adam, who suggested the barbecue competition as a tourism event to bring people downtown, said he remembers telling Dana Schaumburg, Downtown Danville Inc. executive director, to just watch the event grow after the first year.
Adam said he’s excited for the weekend. Some teams will start setting up downtown on Thursday night, with their smokers and other equipment.
The barbecue judging in the categories of brisket, chicken, pork and ribs will be Saturday afternoon. Cash prizes will be awarded ranging from $1,000 for the grand champion prize, $500 for the reserve grand champion prize and $100 each for side dish and people’s choice, among the other categories.
Adam said he hopes this year’s event is a success. He said no one should go away hungry.
Adam’s team placed in ribs last year.
“Everything else was not as we’d hoped ...,” he said. “We’ve changed up our recipe a little bit,” he added about this year’s strategy.
82’s BBQ has high hopes for brisket this year, Adam said.
On Friday, in addition to the barbecue competition set-up, there will be arts and craft vendors in Vendor Square next to the Fischer Theatre starting at 2 p.m., food vendors starting at 11 a.m., live music at 11:30 a.m., Peer Court-sponsored children’s activities at 5 p.m. and American Legion Riders’ Motorcycle Show at 6 p.m.