"BBQ Judgment Day" is approaching in Ooltewah's Cambridge Square, which is playing host to the second annual Ooltewah BBQ Brawl Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eight local teams will vie for cash prizes in the people's choice and judges' contests, with $500 going to the first place winners in both contests, $200 awarded to the second place winners and $100 to the third place winners.
"We'll have people stay up all night cooking the barbecue," said Steve Ray, event organizer and pit master of the Owl's Nest BBQ team. "All food will come right from the pit."
Admission is free, though attendees can pay teams $1 to sample their barbecue, which will span from chicken to pork to beef to ribs. Once tasters have picked a favorite, they can pay $1 to vote in the people's choice contest. Money paid for voting will go into a pot to be divided between the six winners, which they'll receive in addition to the cash prizes awarded, said Ray. Then, at 1 p.m., each team will submit ribs for the judges' contest.
This year's brawl is being held in honor of the Ooltewah and Collegedale area's first responders. Owner of the Midnite Oil on Lee Highway, Ray had a fire at the service station in February and credits the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department with saving his business.
"We only closed one day thanks to them," he said.
Justyn Brown of the Brown's BBQ team is soliciting meat donations for barbecue to be served free of charge to first responders and their families.
The inaugural brawl held last year drew 2,500 attendees, and although Cambridge Square can't hold many more people, Ray said he'd like to see the family-friendly event continue to grow.
Cambridge Square is at 9453 Bradmore Lane.
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