In this bonus episode of the BBQ Beat Podcast, I talk with Shelby Lomen, contest organizer for the Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo BBQ competition, featured as part of the Kissimmee Kowtown Festival. (That’s Cow spelled with a “K,” if you’re in Kissimmee, ya hear?)
Sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association, the Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo is an event that is truly embraced by its hosting city of Kissimmee, one of Florida’s first true Cow Towns.
The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first brought cattle to Florida in 1513 in an attempt to create a settlement in the southwestern part of the state.
Though this attempt failed, Hernan de Soto later brought cattle back to the state in 1539 and moved with them up through the center of the state. Domesticated by both Native Americans in the area and later settlers who became known as “Cracker Cowboys” for their use of whips to herd the animals, cattle ranching gained a prominent foothold here in Central Florida, with Kissimmee taking center stage.
By the 1860s, Florida was providing beef to other parts of the south and was a primary source of beef for the Confederate Army throughout the Civil War. Finally, in the early 1900s, as steamboat transportation began to be supplanted by rail travel, Florida Cracker Cowboy culture started to take hold. (Read more about Florida’s cattle history here.)
Highlights for this Year’s Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo
One of the first things a competition team is going to look at is the payout for any given event. This year’s Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo is doing things up right!
Unlike most BBQ competitions, the Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo is paying out at both the Professional and Backyard levels. Shelby has a special Pro Level Grand Champion Trophy for this year, too – in the form of a large cow skull that has been decorated by a local art student who won a cash prize for doing so. No bowling trophy for GC at this comp!
Here are the payouts by division and category:
Infrastructure and logistical support for this year’s BBQ competition are on track as well. Rock solid 30 and 50 amp power hookups provided by CAT Entertainment Services. Ample water hookups will also be set up on site, thanks to the good folks at the Toho Water Authority 10 lb bags of ice will be sold on-site at Big Toho Marina Bait and Tackle.
If you’re looking for a comp to cook, or you just want to head out for what is sure to be a good time, definitely put this year’s Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo on your calendar!
When and Where for the Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo
When: Saturday March 24, 2018 7 AM to 6 PM
Where: 69 Lakeview Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34741 (Marina Overflow Parking Lot)
Official Contact: Shelby Lomen at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Show
The BBQ Beat Podcast, hosted by Kevin Sandridge, shares all that’s good in competition and backyard BBQ and grilling. Guests include competition BBQ pitmasters, food industry insiders, BBQ and grilling product manufacturers, and event promoters from the US as well as abroad. If you love BBQ and have an appreciation for southern culture and live-fire cooking – this is the podcast for you.
Complimentary Podcast Episodes
- BBP 019: All About Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork with Ozlem Worpel
- BBP 015: Randall Bowman of Deep South Smokers is Living the BBQ Life
- BBP 018: Derrick Riches on 20 Years of BBQ Blogging, His New Kebabs Book, and More
- BBP 016: Catching up with Mark Graham and Shane Draper of Grilla Grills
Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
Have a question or a podcast guest suggestion? Please leave me a message on my contact page. You can also find me on Twitter and via the BBQ Beat Facebook Page.
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