This marked the 9th annual SOTW contest held in Winter Haven, produced by my friend Frank Csomos. This is a much needed fundraiser for the local Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs and helps enable them to operate year round. Frank not only puts on a world class contest, he also has probably close to 15 great live bands playing all weekend, on 3 different stages. This is a huge event for Winter Haven, drawing in nearly 20,000 people.
Being our hometown contest we always make sure we vend our barbecue here. I smoked 60 slabs of ribs, 150 pounds of pork, and 2 bushels of corn for the crowds and we were sold out in a matter of 5 hours. The Swamp Crew set a SOTW record, 2 record-setting weekends in a row! We were sold out by 3pm. To our friends we didn’t get to feed, we’re sorry. Come earlier next year!
As far as the competition went it was a major challenge for me. Murphy’s Law was in full effect starting Friday night and running through turn ins. Saturday morning I was so frustrated with everything I had about given up on the contest. I got everything turned in though and had figured that hopefully I would place in the top 25 out of the 56 pro teams. I was pleasantly surprised when I got an 8th in chicken and 3rd in pork, and really surprised to come in 6th overall. I’ll gladly take it!
Still in the #1 spot Nationally. A big thanks to my sponsors: Butcher’s BBQ, BBQr’s Delight, 3 Eyz BBQ, and Wicked Q. You guys make it all come together!