By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2011
Ryon Parham (left) and Al Dickson, members of the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club.
Now that warm weather has definitely arrived, minds are turning to the great outdoors and all the fun and activities that can be found there. That’s why it is a perfect time to mark your calendar for the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club’s annual Boots and BBQ Festival, which will be held May 13 and 14 at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.
“We want to encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the great barbeque,” says Roger Fleming of the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club. The signature event of the day will be a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned barbecue competition, with 50 to 60 cookers coming from across the nation as well as local areas to compete for $12,000 in cash prizes. The food is judged by a panel of more than 60 KCBS certified judges. “The smell of barbeque in the air from all those cookers will definitely make you hungry,” adds Roger.
Taster kits will go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday for $6 so that attendees can sample beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken or pork butt from the competing cooks and vote for their favorite team to win the coveted Tasters Choice Award. Roger encourages those who want to purchase taster kits to come early; the food is so tasty and popular, it may run out before the day is over.
In addition to a chance to taste award-winning barbeque, the Boots and BBQ Festival will offer all sorts of fun for the entire family. Free musical entertainment and games will be provided, with inflatables for the kids, other types of food, and arts and crafts. The Claremore Route 66 Cruisers Car Club will be displaying classic and custom cars hot rods, and live horse racing will begin on the adjacent Will Rogers Downs track at 12:30.
Vendor booth spaces are available for businesses, and special vendor booth rates are available for non-profit organizations, such as church groups and ball teams that would like to present their fundraising projects to the community with very little overhead. “This is a win-win situation for any non-profit who would like to purchase booth space,” says Roger, who points out that it is much easier to present a project at an event where 3,000 to 4,000 people are expected in attendance than to go door to door.
The Claremore Reveille Rotary Club itself is a non-profit organization. “Our goal is to make money to fund our service projects that help people in need, both locally and internationally,” says Roger. Local projects include providing each third grade student in Rogers County schools outside the city of Claremore with a personalized dictionary and providing $1,500 worth of scholarships to Rogers County graduating students. International projects include drilling water wells and supplying donated medical supplies and equipment to Third World countries. Roger reports that Rotary International has a major project underway to eradicate polio from the face of the earth. For more information on how to get involved in the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club’s worthwhile endeavors, log onto www.claremorereveille.com or email eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.
The Boots and BBQ Festival is the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club’s premiere fundraising event. Admission and parking is free. For more information on this fun filled day or for information on vendor booth space, which is still available, visit the Rotary website at www.claremorereveille.com.