OCONTO—The annual Blowin’ the Doors off Barbeque held this past weekend was a sizzling good time! Brett Eggleston told KCNI/KBBN that more than 1,700 people were in attendance making this year’s BBQ one of the larger fundraisers Oconto has seen. The beautiful weather provided a pleasant evening for event attendees to enjoy BBQ from 11 different teams. Out of those 11, four new teams signed up to participate in the 17th annual event.
Clifford Badgley said the event began 17 years ago after the 2000 tornado that damaged the town and community hall. Badgley said rescue crews from all over the area came to support the town. Community members started the BBQ in an effort to raise funds following the tornado, and the event has improved over the years thanks to the support of the people.
Eggleston echoed the appreciation for the volunteers, cooks, and patrons. He said funds will go toward the Oconto Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of equipment, technology, safety education, and training.
“It is a great feeling to see 1,500 people come into a town of 150 people. It’s just awesome to see that many people come out, support the fire department, and just be here for a good time,” Eggleston said.
BBQ contest categories included pulled pork, beans, ribs, sauce, chicken thighs, brisket, and a specialty item. The overall winners were Slow Poke in first place, Buk-N-Pig in second, and Limp Brisket with the third place title. The evening also featured music by South Loup Sunrise and the West Wind Band, as well as a raffle drawing and live auction.
Mark your calendars for next year’s Blowin’ the Doors Off BBQ on June 1!