When all was said and done, the organizers of the All-American Weekend pretty much accomplished what they set out to do have a great time and bring attention to the virtues and beauty of Warren County.
John Papalia Jr., director of the Council on Tourism, said, "All in all, the weekend went well. We had a decent number of archers, right around 180. I heard nothing but positive comments about Warren County."
Regarding the rib vendors, he said, "Thursday was slow, but Friday had a very decent turnout, comparable to last year. The rain Saturday evening didn't help, though."
Times Observer photo by Rob Andersen
Paul Mackay, owner of Aussom Aussie’s BBQ Down Under, took top honors for rib vendors as well as best pork and best brisket.
Dean Wells, owner and pit boss of Wells Hog Wild BBQ, won the people’s choice award.
He admitted it was "way too hot," for a few days. He believes the fairgrounds made for a nice venue, and the vendors did well.
Compared to previous years' festivals, he thought the grass made a nice change over blacktop, especially with the high temperatures. Other positives were, "Plenty of parking, no traffic congestion, indoor stages for the bands and extra entertainment" in the form of a horse show and go-carts which attracted more people.
Papalia added, "The KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) people just loved it. Several are planning on bringing more teams next year."
On the down side, he believed the KCBS event should have been closer to the center of action, and will be next year. Other planned changes include keeping the vendors in the same area, and not spreading them out as much as this year, and one more shuttle bus to speed things along.
The archery format was a big hit with the competitors, with an average distance of only 15 yards between the targets, as opposed to 50 to 100 yards that is normal for tournaments. That, coupled with a shotgun start that had everyone begin at the same time, went over extremely well, he said.
Papalia said the work of an "outstanding" committee made the events a success. "They started in June, clearing the (archery) lanes. The competitors said they were some of the nicest lanes they'd ever shot," he added. "This really happened because of local support."
The overall KCBS winners were: 1- Flying Porkers; 2- Ribs N'at; 3- Lo' N' Slo' BBQ; 4- Papa Wood BBQ; 5- Hawg Nation BBQ; 6- Black Dawg BBQ; 7- Aussom Aussie; 8- Diva Q; 9- Fatty Mac Barbecue; 10- Red Valley BBQ;11- Hollywood N Swine; 12- Crippen Hill Gang; 13- Uncle Wade's BBQ; 14- Smokin' Valley BBQ; 15- Big Al's Smokin' BBQ; 16- Boss Hogg; 17- Franklin County Moonswiners.
Other winners were: chicken, Flying Porkers; pork ribs, Papa Wood; pork, Red Valley BBQ; and brisket, Papa Wood BBQ.