By Caleb Odom
For The News Courier
Members of the Elkmont Lions Club are again banking on barbecue to help raise funds for the group’s civic activities.
The club will host the fourth annual Smokin’ Railroad Street BBQ Cook-off this weekend. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. this evening with live music. The cook-off portion of the event begins Saturday morning.
“We have drawn (more people) each year since we started,” said Larry Pylant, club member and event organizer. He added the funds will be used to pay for eyeglasses for children and the elderly, and two $1,000 scholarships awarded each year.
Pylant said the amount of cooks has grown each year from just 10 teams in 2010 to 23 this year. He attributed the increase in interest to the event being added to the Alabama Barbecue Trail in 2011.
The event is free for anyone not competing in the contest. The Lions Club will be selling barbecue plates, funnel cakes and shaved ice. Pylant said 17 vendors would participate.
Attendees who want to be a part of the People’s Choice competition can purchase tickets at 11 a.m. Saturday. The tickets are $1, and allow people to try pulled pork samples.
The two mandatory competitions are chicken and ribs, though 17 teams will compete in the pulled pork category. The winner will take home $100 in prize money.