By Karla Pomeroy

Wyoming BBQ & Bluegrass Festival wins top BBQ event honors


February 25, 2016

Karla Pomeroy

Three members of the Wyoming State BBQ and Bluegrass Festival organization committee, Phyllis Lewis, Dale Wagner and Dave Paxton, show off the award-winning plaque they received for being named the Event of the Year by the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association. While the award was announced in December, the plaque just arrived.

WORLAND - The Wyoming BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, which is held in Worland every August, won the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association 2015 Organizers Cup Challenge and was named the Event of the Year for the second time in its 11-year history.

Dale Wagner, event organizer, said this was the same honor the event received in 2013. The 2013 plaque is on display at Pinnacle Bank in Worland. The newest winning sign will be on display at ANB in Worland.

Wagner said the Wyoming BBQ & Bluegrass Festival is one of 37 events in seven states that compete for the Rocky Mountain BBQ Organizers Cup Challenge.

He said every year at least 25 certified judges and cooking competitors are asked to evaluate the Wyoming BBQ & Bluegrass Festival by answering nine questions from the judge's or cook's perspective. This information for each event is analyzed and the winner is determined from the evaluations.

Wagner noted how the Wyoming BBQ & Bluegrass Festival has grown since its inception in 2004. The inaugural year there were 15 cooking teams with no ancillary categories. In 2015, there were 29 teams with a People's Choice award and different ancillary categories including mystery meat and sauce. They also added a children's BBQ contest, a 5k run and provide children entertainment with an inflatable bouncy house.

He said the growth is in part thanks to their many corporate sponsors. "All are important to the success of the barbecue each and every year and truly an indication of a community effort," Wagner said.

It's also due to the commitment of the BBQ committee. Current active members are Wagner, Phyllis Lewis, Dave Paxtson, Dave Clark, Frank DeCroo, Gary Klispie, Kari Barr, Larry Hill, Linda Keyes, Lynn Murdock, Scott Creek, Val Busch, Dan Cook and Terry Cook. Wagner noted that Danna Beason was a member of the award-winning 2015 committee.


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