Nineteen contestants will compete in the Verendrye Museum’s third annual Backyard BBQ Competition on Saturday, August 17, in Fort Pierre’s Fischer’s Lilly Park, starting at 5 p.m. The Backyard BBQ Competition is part of Fort Pierre Trader Days, August 16 — 18.

“The majority of the contestants are local businesses and ranches,” said Cindy Lea Bahe on behalf of the Verendrye Museum. “Though entries are now closed, sponsors and contributors are still welcome. The barbecue is our main fundraiser of the year.”

Competitors paid a $100 entry fee, most of which will be paid back in prizes. This year’s contestants include: A-G-E, Bad River Mafia 1 & 2, Beck Motors Camping Crew, Bottom Line Welding, Burnt Offerins, Chase Auto, Cowboy Country Store, Dakota Prairie Bank, First National Bank, Fort Pierre Fire Dept., Graham Tire, Grossenburg Implement, Inman’s Water, Prairie ATV, Prairie Traders, Sioux Nation, Zander Auto and Zay Norman Ranch.

The contestants will compete for first, second and third place prizes from the team of judges, as well as a People’s Choice Award from the public taste-testers. Each person trying samples may put in their vote for who they think should win the People’s Choice Award.

The 2017 competition saw just three entries.

“It takes a while to get off the ground,” said Bahe. “I think the increase of contestants is a combination of things. It’s a fun event. And, the board members went after more sponsors.”

She particularly noted efforts by Darby Nutter, Brian Scott and Deb Schiefelbein.

The 2018 competition saw eight contestants. The 2018 People’s Choice Award went to Nutter and the Bad River Mafia. They kept the bragging rights but donated their winnings back to the museum.

Bahe hopes contest entries continue to double in coming years.

“Bring your appetite! We encourage your votes,” Bahe said.

The public is invited to sample all the entries for $10 per person, payable on site. Kids 8 and under may eat at the barbecue for free. Pop, water and beer will be available for purchase. Proceeds go to the Verendrye Museum, which is undergoing major renovations.

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