The Florida Barbecue Association sanctions barbecue contests and they take their jobs very seriously. Specific rules are strictly enforced and govern such items as:
- equipment required and otherwise allowed
- meat selection, inspection and storage requirements
- approved cooking fuel and how it is to be used
- approved cookers – manual or electric
- the cooking site
- behavior of the cooking team and their guests
- cleanliness and sanitation
- presentation and judging
For any given contest to be sanctioned as a ‘FBA-sanctioned Barbecue Contest’, forms must be completed, fees must be paid, judges must be presented and possibly trained, insurance must be obtained, official FBA t-shirts must be ordered, media releases approved, and then applications must be reviewed from those who wish to enter the contest. Not exactly a part-time position!
Historic Cocoa Village contest
The merchants of the Historic Cocoa Village Association, who have ‘passed muster’ with the FBA, will host their second annual BBQ & Blues festival at Riverfront Park in Downtown Cocoa Village on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9. Last year’s event was a great success and this year organizers hope to draw even more people (and spending dollars) to the quaint Village. Professional BBQ competitors from all over the southeastern U.S. will be competing for prizes.
In addition to the professional BBQ competition, there will be a kid zone, craft vendors, food vendors, the Blues Brothers Movie in the Park on Friday night and great blues music all day long on Saturday. Friday night there will also be a Pub Crawl starting at 6:30 p.m. that will take participants through the Village’s restaurants and bars.
The music will begin Saturday at noon with blues performers including: Josh Miller’s Blues Revue with Ben Champion, Kenny Clarke and Kostas Galanopoulos, Mike & Lynn Corby, Little Mookie & the Half Pints, and then Doug Deming will take the stage at 6pm.
Along with the professional BBQ competition, there will be a backyard BBQ competition for those thinking about competitive cooking and want to gain some experience. There are sizeable cash prizes for the professionals and smaller prizes for the backyarders.
The prize that the Space Coast is hoping for is to bring locals and out-of-towners into beautiful Historic Cocoa Village, to expose local people to the excitement of competitive BBQ cooking, to showcase American Blues music, and to hold an event that the whole family and community can enjoy. If the event has a good turnout, that will be prize enough.