Glen Ellyn’s Backyard BBQ Cook-Off returns for a third year of food, fun and festivity in a relaxed, downhome atmosphere. Glen Ellyn’s 3rd Annual Backyard BBQ Cook-Off Competition takes place Saturday, September 10th in the Glenwood Avenue lot in downtown Glen Ellyn. The event is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and there is no cost to attend. Judging is from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs, relax, and hang out for the afternoon.
For the first time, “the event will be held in Glen Ellyn’s lovely historic downtown commercial district and we are extremely excited,” says event coordinator Tom Koprowski. Based on the event’s popularity, its original neighborhood block-party format no longer works. “We’ve simply outgrown our space,” Koprowski adds happily.
Tom Koprowski, a Glen Ellyn resident and barbecue enthusiast who goes by the nickname “Pig Daddy,” is the spokesman for a group of Glen Ellyn residents who, after sharing ideas on an online message board as to how to best generate foot traffic into Glen Ellyn’s charming, historic downtown, decided the village needed a downtown barbecue competition.
This year, both amateur and seasoned barbecuers are taking their backyard talents to downtown Glen Ellyn in hopes of winning bragging rights. Competition categories are Pork Ribs (spares and baby backs) and Best Dish.
“With about five weeks to go, 25 teams are set to compete, and we are expecting many more in the weeks leading up to the “pig” day,” reports Koprowski. All the rib teams will be judged by representatives from the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Building upon Glen Ellyn’s community spirit and involvement, Chef Instructor David Kramer from College of DuPage and Village President Mark Pfefferman will judge the "best dish" category.
While grilled and smoked meats will take the spotlight, there is much more to the event than just BBQ. For the first time, Whiteford’s pulled pork sliders and ice cold beer will be available for purchase. Also new this year are a bags tournament and a raffle, including a chance to win an overnight stay at the Abbey Resort and Avani Spa in Lake Geneva, WI and a one-on-one barbecue lesson with Matthew Whiteford, Jim Beam’s National Competition BBQ Pitmaster and owner of Whiteford’s “Love Your BBQ.” In addition, three bands will play blues and soul throughout day: The Bill Ande Band, Amy Kelly and The Bluz Brothers, a tribute band.
Local sponsors include Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust, Flooropedics, Glen Ellyn Hot Yoga, Euclid Beverage, Tap House Grill, Honey and Dairy Queen, and “we’ve received the attention from non-local businesses such as the Abbey in Lake Geneva, WI and Bubba’s Berks in Varna, IL,” Koprowski adds.
"Everything that we do here funds and supports Bridge Communities’ mission, which is transforming the lives of homeless families through partnering with talented, resourceful individuals and groups in our community," says Koprowski.
To enter the either the barbecue or bags competitions, participants must submit a form and a fee. Applications for the contests and more information can be found at www.BBQ.Glen-Ellyn.com or by contacting Tom “Pig Daddy” Koprowski at BBQ@Glen-Ellyn.com.
Bridge Communities, Inc., (Bridge) is a dynamic, grassroots, nonprofit organization committed to transforming the lives of homeless families in DuPage County through partnering with talented, resourceful individuals and groups in our community. Its program of transitional housing, mentoring and supportive services empowers the families to increase life skills and earning power to promote self-sufficiency, sustain permanent housing, and to break the cycle of poverty within the family unit. What began by co-founders Mark Milligan and Bob Wahlgren when they decided, in 1988, to begin to help homeless families, has now become a powerful current of change in the lives of hundreds of extremely low to low income at-risk families. For more information about Bridge Communities, please visit www.BridgeCommunities.org or contact Mark Milligan at (630) 545-0610, ext. 10 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenwood Ave Lot, Glen Ellyn