Slowburn BBQ Cookoff a success, raising $6,000 for local nonprofits

Local youth play with a human-filled inflatable orb during the Slowburn BBQ Cookoff at Depot Square in Evanston on Saturday, Sept. 14. (HERALD PHOTO/Holly Vaughn)

EVANSTON — Organizers of a recent barbecue competition, put on by a local nonprofit supergroup of sorts, said they’re very happy with the inaugural event, held Saturday, Sept. 14, at Evanston’s Depot Square.

Uinta Non-profits Unite (UNPU) hosted the Slowburn BBQ Cookoff, an event they hope will become an annual fundraiser for those involved, including Uinta County Senior Citizens, the Evanston Youth Club, the Uinta County SAFV Task Force, the Youth Alternative Home Association, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Disability:IN Uinta County, the Evanston Hungry Child Backpack Program and the Uinta County Suicide Prevention Task Force. 

“We were thrilled with the turnout…” UNPU chair Kerry Wright said. “We had seven competitors, over 500 people attend and were able to raise over $6,000 for non-profit organizations of Uinta County. The committee is already looking forward to the second annual competition and will announce a date in the very near future so that competitors can mark their calendars and get prepared.”

The event wasn’t only about food, as children raided Depot Square to play in the bounce house or battle it out in games of tug-of-war or joust. Other youth spent the afternoon playing cornhole or climbing inside an inflatable orb to be rolled across the lawn by friends.

For the adults, the event featured a beer garden, offering beverages to complement the barbecue, which ranged from brisket and ribs to pulled pork, jalapeño poppers, barbecued chicken and smoked turkey, among other meaty offerings. Recorded music gave way to live performances a little later in the afternoon and into the evening.

Intermittent raffle drawings kept the crowd clenching their tickets as volunteers announced prizes. With plenty of prizes, the raffle brought smiles to lots of faces, including Mark Cornell, who won the grand prize Traeger smoker and grill. 

Wright said the Traeger was donated by an anonymous, though very generous, donor. She said she and others were happy with how the various nonprofits worked together to pull off the cookoff.

“The non-profit organizations all worked very well together, and we are more than happy that this event can continue yearly,” Wright said. “UNPU would also like to thank our volunteers and sponsors because without them, this event wouldn’t have happened.”

Winners of the cook-off were: Uinta Lanes, brisket; Secondhand Smoke, chicken; Kathy Haggerty, pulled pork; Union Tank, pulled pork; Union Tank, backyard barbecue; and Secondhand Smoke, people’s choice.

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