Boots & BBQ Festival

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Categories: In Our Communities

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Murray’s kids - FFA and JR ROTC Claremore high school serving Peoples Choice at last year’s barbeque.

Have you ever heard someone say “Kansas City Barbecue” and wondered, “What is the distinction?” Maybe you wondered about the difference between this barbecue style and other regionally named barbecue, like St. Louis, Texas, or Memphis. If you looked it up on the internet, you would find that Kansas City Barbecue is known for its thick tomato and molasses based sauce. But the best way to find out about Kansas City Barbecue is to taste it—and the best place to taste it would be at Claremore Reveille Rotary Club’s annual Boots and BBQ on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Held this year at the Claremore Expo, this event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Association and will host a competition for the best of the best local Kansas City Barbecue chefs.
Teams have registered to win part of a $7500 total payout of cash and prizes, but the real winners will be those who, for a donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child under twelve, receive a People’s Choice Taster’s Kit in order to sample offerings from several meat categories—beef brisket, pork butt, pork ribs, and chicken.  In addition, the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club has added an avenue of competition for backyard grill enthusiasts with a Backyard Barbecue Competition.
The Backyard Barbecue Competition is not the only new addition to Boots N BBQ for 2016.  Also new this year, is live entertainment by local musicians found through Musician’s Haven, a non-profit organization that works with and encourages local musicians and artists to become involved with events like Boots and BBQ.  There will be a Beer Garden, where beer will be available for a small donation of $10, with up to two free
refills available.  There will also be a new children’s area
hosted by the Bounce
Fator—free to kids so parents don’t have to worry about the added expense.
But some things haven’t changed. “One of the things our club does during this event is give thanks to our veterans,” says Tanya Andrews, Boots N BBQ Team Leader. “Residents from the Claremore Veteran’s Center come to the event and we, along with sponsor Walke Brothers, serve a special lunch in their honor.” This is just one way the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club shows their true and continued focus on the local community. Every year, the club participates in a variety of projects benefiting Rogers County. They contribute to education and literacy by providing brand new dictionaries to every Rogers County third graders, offering scholarships to several Rogers County high school students, and hosting Rotary Youth Leadership Academy.  They look after the health and well-being of locals by participating in events like Food 4 Kids, Shoes for Claremont Kids, End Polio Now and Medical Supplies Network.  In particular, they work toward putting funds toward matching grants with Rotary International.
“Because of the matching grant program, we were able to give $6000 dollars to the Rogers County Food 4 Kids Backpack program last year,” Tanya reports. “We could not have done that without raising money at events like Boots N BBQ.”
So whether you already love Kansas City Barbecue, want to taste the difference for yourself, or just want to be part of this gift back to the community, be sure to visit Claremore Expo on May 16. Taster kits go on sale at 11 a.m. and will be available until 2—or until the food is gone!

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