BBQ Fest 2012 Day 0 – Friends & Family

Let’s go ahead and get this knocked out before I go to bed.

The front of our booth

John D pouring a Bud Light

Birthday boy Jeff Stamm of Double J SmokeHouse and Saloon, on the right.

Head WordPress guy Matt Mullenweg

WordPress tech ninjas Nacin and Otto

I don’t even know these people, but for some reason I deemed this shot blogworthy.


Mardoqueo and Mikey




Here’s a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating

Post-Wednesday night at the Saucer. GM Kirk will shit his pants when he sees his lime costs going through the roof on this beer.

Full photo album here (about 80 photos). I’ll take more tomorrow.

A quick note for those of you who plan to visit Patio Porker teams

The Squeal Street team captain posted to Facebook that there are fire ants in the grass near the Patio Porkers area. If you plan on going to visit those teams, open-toed shoes might not be a good idea.

Not sure about the fire ant status in the shoulder area where my team is. I’ve been so busy working hard that I haven’t had time to notice.

Patio Porkers are smaller teams, who have 10 x 10 booths and have a limit on how big their cooking rig can be. Patio Porkers cook ribs and compete against one another, but not the ribs teams. If a Patio Porker wins first place, it graduates and must enter one of the big three (Ribs, Shoulder, Whole Hog) in future years.

BBQ Fest park hours

I’ve been asked what time the park closes for BBQ Fest three times in the past 24 hours, so I’ll go ahead and post the answer.

Wednesday: 10:30 (private party – Friends & Family Night)

Thursday: midnight

Friday: midnight

Saturday: 10

I’ve also been asked when is the best night to go. My vote would be for Thursday. Thursday and Friday are the big party nights, but Thursday is more relaxed because you have fewer stupid people and freeloaders to deal with. Actually, it depends on what booths you plan on visiting. If they have “sponsor night” when they cater to and wait on their sponsors, it may be Thursday and it may be difficult to get in those booths. Our team doesn’t have a sponsor night – they party with us all weekend – so for my money Thursday is best.

All right. The BBQ team just sent out an alert asking for help. I’m on it and ready to work HARD! Heading to the booth location now. My map shows the location at “northwest corner of Second and Peabody Place.” I’m not sure that’s 100% accurate but I have to go with what I have. Maybe by tomorrow I’ll have better directions.

Sometimes nice things come your way and you have to say no…

Today our BBQ team captain emailed us a spreadsheet, containing the final team list, and a list of what would be in member packets – wristiks for entry into the park, wristbands to indicate team membership while in our booth, Wednesday night Friends & Family passes, T-shirts, that kind of thing. I eagerly opened it, wanting to see who the final list of teammates would be. As I scanned it I found my own name, and found the following under the wristik column:

1 (24-hour)

They had given me a 24-hour pass, which means I would be able to be in the park even after it officially closes. I could stay there all night if I wanted. Counting team members and sponsors, we’re somewhere in the 40s when it comes to membership, but only 15 per team are allowed to have the 24-hour passes.

So it was a real privilege to be awarded one, right?


With a 24-hour pass comes the expectation of extra work. Those with the passes are expected to remain in the booth, clean up, and get things ready for the next day. I’ve never been known as the team’s hardest worker and that’s a reputation I have no problem with. When the park closes at midnight Thursday and Friday, I want to skeedaddle out of there and get to a bar as fast as possible. Which bar, I don’t know. Since our booth is pretty far to the south end of the park, maybe I’ll stay south and catch up with my friends on the Squeal Street team at Max’s or the Double J.  Or maybe I’ll head back to the core to spend some time at my faves the Saucer and the Bear.

But I sure as hell don’t want to be in the booth cleaning until 2 AM or later!!!

I emailed the team president and explained the situation, and that I’d never had a 24-hour pass with my old team. She understood and reduced me to a three-day regular-hour park pass with a ticket for Wednesday night.

It was an honor to be offered one, but there are some honors that need to be turned down. I wonder how many emails and texts the team prez got saying, “Really? You gave PAUL a 24-hour pass?” If she got any, they were completely justified and I’ll be the first to admit it.

All right, outta here. Happy hour at the Saucer is next, then over to the Bear for Jamie’s poker game.

My influence on the BBQ team

On the BBQ team I was on 2007-11 we had official team shirts. Some years they were polos; some years they were T-shirts. The new team has T-shirts and tank tops, but I pressed the Board of Directors to offer an additional clothing option.

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