Wichita Highland Games

This past weekend we once again had the pleasure of cooking for the athletes at the Wichita Celtic Festival and Highland Games. We really enjoy spending time with these folks, feeding them and watching them compete.

Stone throw

Stone throw

Sheath toss

Sheath toss

We get to set up on the field so we have the best seat in the house!
It’s fun and sometimes challenging to come up with new dishes and foods that will provide the athlete’s energy without getting them too full. These guys can really put away the groceries, luckily for us they watch what they eat at lunch since the competition continues in the afternoon.

The serving line

The serving line

Enjoying the food

Enjoying the food

Lunch break!

Lunch break!

One of our favorite events to watch is the caber toss. The goal is to pick up the pole, flip it end for end as close to straight away from you as possible. It’s very challenging!.

Caber toss

Caber toss

If you have never been to one of these festivals, you’re next chance is coming up soon. The McPherson Scottish Festival will be the 3rd weekend in September and we will be there to feed the athletes again. And it’s not just the games, there is lots of activities going on. Bagpipers, sheep dog demonstrations, crafts, food vendors, and you can have a great time just people watching :)

We have a few weeks off, but the blog will be back after we compete in Derby the first part of September so stay tuned!

Rossville Tall Corn Festival BBQ

This weekend we attended a barbecue competition that, for the 3rd contest in a row, was our first time there. This was also the first year for this contest to be a KCBS sanctioned event.
The Rossville Tall Corn Festival BBQ was held in Rossville, a small town a few miles northwest of Topeka on 24 Highway or a short jaunt up from I-70. Jason, the organizer, did a wonderful job of getting teams and sponsors for the event.
The contest was held in the town’s park and it takes a back seat to very few other venues. The park has lots of shade trees, ample power, a playground, swimming pool and a baseball field. I was told the baseball stadium was special, but instead of me repeating things, here is a link to the story, plus more information on the park itself:

https://www.rossvillekansas.us/community/recreation/city-park

On of the really neat things in the park was the sound system. There were speakers on most of the poles in the park. We got to enjoy music during the day from Magic107; where they play today’s hits and yesterday’s favorites. The best part was Jason and his crew were able to make announcements over the system regarding the contest. Another thing there that we don’t normally see, there were some local vendors set up in the park. They seemed to stay busy and we did not have a single member of the public ask if we were selling food. Of course I couldn’t resist getting a funnel cake. They even made one special for me that had the calories removed.

Friday evening Angie and Jocelyn came for supper and a visit, Jocie got to enjoy the playground and Grandma Kristi got to enjoy spoiling her.

Jocelyn playing on the swing

Jocelyn playing on the swing

They had a beer garden and live band on the tennis courts Friday evening and it looked like they were starting to draw a pretty good crowd until the rain came and put a damper on most people’s spirits. There were some die-hards that stayed and partied under the canopies. I had evidence of this Saturday morning once it started getting light when I noticed the lid of our drink cooler was not shut. When I checked on the reason I learned that someone had donated to our beer supply! Kristi did enjoy that donation after turn-ins were complete.

We were happy with our food, the judges were split. Out of 25 teams we placed 18th in chicken and 14th in ribs. We finally got our name called in pork, taking 7th place followed by winning the brisket category!

1st place brisket!

1st place brisket!

As always, it was good to visit with some old friends and meet new ones. A special shout out to Mark and Nicole for the Apple Pie shots! They were delish!

We took a little side trip on the way home. About eighteen months ago we deployed with Operation BBQ Relief to the little town of Harveyville after it was struck by a tornado. Since our route home was going to take us within a few miles we thought we would go see how things look now. One of the tragedies of that storm was the historic Methodist Church being destroyed. It’s now a new church, but just might mean as much or more than the old church did as it shows how, with God’s help, the human spirit can prevail.

Harveyville Methodist Church

Harveyville Methodist Church

There had been a lot of rain in the Emporia area the past few days. When we went through Friday the Cottonwood River was still within its banks even though some of the creeks in the area had spilled out into the farmland. Saturday afternoon was a different story, here is the Cottonwood:

Cottonwood River

Cottonwood River

It was a good weekend and the weather, or at least the temperature, could not have been better for the first weekend in August. I know Jason is already making plans for next years contest and as good as it was this year, I can hardly wait! If you compete anywhere in the northeast Kansas area be sure and check this one out for next year.

Thanks goes out to Cookshack, JPCustom Smoke, Fruita Wood Chunks, and Butcher BBQ for making the products to help us with our hobby. If you are interested in any of their products, just click on the appropriate logo on our links page.

Until next week, be safe and enjoy life.
Greg