BBQ Contest a Big Part of Festival Experience

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

By Kenny Green, Mesquite News

The smell of barbecue will soon fill the air in Mesquite. The Taste of Mesquite Barbecue Cook-off will kick off on April 25, as part of the city’s annual Real.Texas.Festival. This year the event will be hosted by the Mesquite Fire Corps Association and sponsored by Mesquite Arena.
During last year’s competition more than 50 participants entered the contest, which qualifies this year’s event as a national event on the Lone Star Barbecue Society circuit.
“A lot of cookers last year waited until the last minute to show up. We had about 10 contestants show up after 10 p.m. on Friday that we had no idea were coming,” said Mark North, Fire Corps training officer.

The contestants in this year’s contest will battle for champion and reserve champion honors in three categories --- brisket, pork spare ribs and one-half chicken. One overall grand champion will be crowned at the event and all participants can earn points towards the cook of the year title.

The event is sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society and the fire corps will work closely with them to produce the event.

“We got through them to get the judge assigned to us and to help us with the various inspections and judging of the items,” North said. “We have to operate under their rules.”

North said the fire corps will get a percentage of the proceeds from the entry fees to help support several projects they do each year such as the smoke detector program.

“This will be our big fundraiser for the year. We are hoping for more than 50 cookers again this year and good weather. If the weather is bad they will not show up,” North said.

Each first, second and third place finisher in each category will receive a trophy and a cash prize. North said there will also be an award given for jackpot beans in addition to the normal entries.

North hopes the fire corps is asked to do the event again next year so they can use this year to talk to the participants and see what changes they can make to the event to make it more enjoyable.

“We want to try a do a few different things than what has been done in the past to make the event even more enjoyable,” North said.

About the Mesquite Fire Corps
The mission of the Mesquite Fire Corps is to support and enhance the Mesquite Fire Department utilizing volunteers through continuing education and community service. For information about becoming part of the fire corps can be found at

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