R+L Carriers will be the signature sponsor of a barbecue cook-off event set to be held at Rocky Fork Lake this September, it was announced Wednesday during a meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Board president Shane Wilkin, a co-coordinator and driving force behind the event, said the Wilmington-based freight company will provide much-needed support for the event, which he said has been growing faster than anticipated.
“This may be a little bigger than what we were anticipating,” he said. “We are very grateful that R+L has decided to jump in as our sponsor.”
The event, dubbed “Smokin’ in the Hills,” is a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cookoff competition set to be held at the east end overlook at the lake Sept. 23.
An expected 25-30 teams will compete for a shot at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational over the weekend. Destiny Bryson, director of the Highland County Visitors Bureau, said coordinators have already received seven applications with one on the way.
The registration fee is $250, and competing teams must prepare selections of chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket. Prizes will be awarded to the grand champion, reserve champion and first through fifth place for each category, according to Rhonda Purdin of the Highland County Senior Citizens Center. Purdin was the first person to come up with the idea for the barbecue competition, Wilkin said.
The event will also feature The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial, a travelling display of life-size portraits depicting the fallen members of Lima Company 3/25, sponsored by R+L Carriers.
Other major activities being planned include a relay race in which competitors will run, canoe and complete a U.S. Army obstacle course. Sgt. Tyler Musselman of the Hillsboro U.S. Army Recruiting Office is spearheading the race. All proceeds from that portion of the event will be donated to “Silent Battle,” a bronze sculpture that will travel with the Lima Company Memorial.
Wilkin said Wednesday Southern State Community College will also sponsor the event, and several other entities have also expressed interest.
To get involved in the planning process, contact Bryson by calling 614-440-1885, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is currently open for teams wishing to compete. Applications can be obtained online by visiting kcbs.us or by emailing Bryson.
“We are really looking forward to it,” Wilkin said. “It looks like it will be an excellent event for our community.”
In other business Wednesday, the commissioners passed routine financial resolutions.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.