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Date Posted: 13:46:11 06/23/03 Mon
Author: DarrenC
Author Host/IP: host53.library.guelph.on.ca / 66.207.119.53
Subject: Back from Liberty Bell - Philadelphia

Hi Folks!

Debby, Cindy, and I packed up the van and a little U-Haul trailer last Thursday and headed to the city of brotherly love for the first annual Liberty Bell BBQ, the first large-scale event we have ever attended. Earl, Vince, Barb, Sandra, and Phil also headed down to compete, rounding out the event's Canadian content.

Despite the drive from hell, significant organizational problems at the event, and 18 straight hours of heavy rain, we had just a great time. We were blown away by the calibre of the competition attending. The large purse had brought out many of the legends and masters of the sport. We were thrilled to see names we had only read about such as Chef Paul Kirk, Bonesmokers, Extreme Pork (now called Pellet Envy), BBQ USA Smoke, and Jack McDavid among many others. We also enjoyed visiting with a large contingent of friends we had met during previous events in New York and New England.

Although there was no prize for most sportsmanlike team, my personal vote goes to Pork Floyd, who noticed we had all of our equipment and ourselved huddled in the centre of our el-cheapo shelter in the driving rain and elected to rearrange their site so they would have an extra EZ-Up left over to offer to us. Also an honorable mention to Earl, who made room in his motorhome for Cindy and I on Friday night.

Our buddies the Yahoos from New England ended up winning Grand Champion, taking home some significant cash and impressive hardware. Reserve Grand went to BBQ USA Smoke.

I am ecstatic to report that with 47 top-level teams competing, "What Have You Been Smokin'?" brought home a plaque for 5th place chicken and placed 13th on the overall standings. A big congratulations to the whole Bustin' Loose gang, who overcame much adversity and conspiring circumstances like the pros they are to finish a solid 16th overall. Chef Paul was hot on Earl's heels, finishing 17th.

All in all, a lot of beer was consumed, a lot of laughs had, and we all have a few more war stories to tell. A great weekend for us that has left us with high morale going into Brantford next month. We look forward to seeing eveyone there.

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