Come this weekend at Heartland Mall, the cookers should be cookin’ and — for sure — the fiddlers will be fiddlin’.
The Texas Championship Rib Burn-Off and Old Time Fiddling Contest has become an annual tradition, held the weekend preceding Memorial Day, and say organizers, even if it rains, the event should go on. Of course, some activities — the amateur tailgate barbecue contest and the horseshoe tournament, to mention two — need the sunshine to be successful. But the fiddling contest will be inside the mall, and the brisket and barbecue sandwiches that will be for sale as a fund-raiser for the Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club will be sold inside the mall also.
Hailed a “family fun weekend” the contests and events are sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce and Heartland Mall.
Official start time for the Texas Championship Rib Burn-Off is 5 p.m. today, and for those who didn’t pre-register, the entry fee is $60 and one cooked brisket. With a $5,000 purse, cash awards will be made to the top 10 cookers in each of three categories, including baby back ribs, spare ribs and country style ribs.
The cooked briskets are chopped for sandwiches and sold by the Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club, inside the mall on Saturday. After the judging for the cook-off, the cookers’ rib entries will be available for sale also.
The Old Time Fiddling Contest has a $2,500 purse with prize money and trophies going to adult, junior and grand champion winners. This contest does not charge an entry free, and anyone wanting to watch the fiddlers and listen to the music is welcome. There’s no admission for the show.
“People can bring their lawn chairs and sit and stay a while,” said Charlotte Parrack, Heartland Mall manager.
Two other contests are planned, but could be affected by the weather, and those are the Sears’ Amateur Tailgate BBQ Contest, where the winner receives a new grill from Sears valued at $500, and the Horseshoe Tournament.
Sponsored by Sears and Girling Health Care, the amateur cook-off is designed for the backyard cooker or griller. All meat must be raw and cooked on site on a back yard type grill, not a smoker on a trailer. Entries must be submitted in uniform containers provided by the Early Chamber of Commerce.
The Horseshoe Tournament does not require an entry fee and first, second and third place trophies will be awarded.