Metro Kansas City was sunny and hot with a heat index at 101 degrees Saturday. Lenexa was hotter. Added to the temperature in Sar-Ko-Par Park was heat from many varieties of barbecue pits, plus body heat from cooking team members (185 teams), 240 judges and hundreds of barbecue lovers. Food, fun and primal feasting eclipsed any bothersome discomfort from the heat. Plus, there was welcome relief in plentiful shade and cool breezes from the lake.
The 35th Annual Great Lenexa BBQ Battle was a far cry from the original in 1982. Inspired by the American Royal Barbecue, co-founders Pat Dalton and Alan Uhl hosted twelve competition teams with twelve judges that first year. It has become so popular that teams and judges reach capacity soon after applications are open.
Kudos to all who competed, judged or celebrated Kansas City barbecue at the 35th Annual. Congratulations to Chris Cox and Dan Mills of Brew ‘N’ Bar B Que, this year’s Grand Champion, and to Randy Vanslyke, Chris Hendricks and John Radliff of High I Que II, Reserve Grand Champions!