By: Clarice Doyle | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2015
Reveille Rotarians believe teamwork makes the annual Boots and BBQ Festival a success every year. Preparing for this year’s event are morning club members (L to R) Clarice Doyle, Sam Nichols, Roger Evans, Steve Gragert, Tanya Andrews, Barry Knight, Ron Burrows, Dr. Richard Mosier and Roger Fleming.
On Saturday, May 9, the general public is invited to sample some of the region’s best barbecue during the KCBS-sanctioned 2015 Boots and BBQ Festival, a Claremore Reveille Rotary Club event, taking place at the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.
“Of course, this is first and foremost a barbecue contest, literally pitting some of the top regional cookers as well as amateurs against one another, for a chance to win cash prizes and move on to Kansas City Barbecue Society cook-off events later this year,” said Clarice Doyle, Rotarian and event chair.
The public portion of the festival begins 10 a.m. Saturday when festival vendors and the Cherokee Casino open for business. At 11 a.m. Taster Kits will go on sale for $6, allowing festival-goers to sample the barbecue from participating cookers. Kits will be sold as long as food is available. The public is asked to vote for their favorite barbecue and team during this portion of the event. Official KCBS judging will take place separately.
“This is by far the most popular segment of the festival when it comes to the general public. A person can just about get all you can eat by the time you get around to each of the cookers,” said John Walke, Rotarian and the festival’s cooking team manager. “Winning ‘People’s Choice’ is a highly desired title among our cooking teams.”
Barbecue cooks who still want to sign up to compete for top cash prizes can do so by visiting www.claremorereveille.com or emailing eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 or eat1@eau1eav1eaw1 for team entry form. Competitor check-in will be Friday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. Free public parking and KOA camping facilities are available on-site.
Reveille Rotary’s Boots and BBQ Festival is a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event. Cooking teams will be competing in Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, Pork Butt, Chicken, Dessert and People’s Choice. Trained KCBS judges will decide who will win a portion of the $10,000 in cash prizes and a chance to move on to top regional cook-off events later this year.
Other food and drink vendors will be on hand to complement the barbecue.
The Boots and BBQ Festival is an annual event hosted by members of the Reveille Rotary Club of Claremore. Money raised from the event is used by the club to further the success of their long list of service projects including Dictionary’s for Kids, Food4Kids, international Rotary projects such as water wells, End Polio Now, youth leadership programs, scholarships and more.
Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is presenting sponsor, providing funds for the winner’s payout as well as location facilities and services. Live horse racing begins 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The awards ceremony will be 4:15, followed by music by Paul Bogart on the casino’s Dog Iron Stage at 8 p.m.
The festival committee management team includes Rotarians Doyle, event chair; Walke, cooking teams; Steve Gragert, vendors; and Roger Fleming, judges.
For more information, contact