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Half Way There

August 28, 2019
By Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Half-Way to St.?Pat's! Can you believe it? Here we are, the end of August, and we're looking ahead to the middle of March.

The St. Pat's Association and Emmetsburg Fire Department collaborated for a great weekend of fun, food and music.

2019 is the third year for this event and it has grown like crazy. The barbecue contest, alone, is a big drawing card and this year featured 12 masters of the grill.

We talked with the representative of the Kansas City Barbecue Society who judged the grill competition. This group of certified judges, mostly from Iowa and Minnesota, "taste" their way from one competition to another. There are six judges to a table, with one table captain. At the Emmetsburg competition there were three tables. We also learned, no photos are allowed inside the judging area.

Barbecue teams came to Emmetsburg from Ellsworth, Ruthven, Carroll, Britt, Fort Dodge, Spring Valley, MN, Nora Springs, Kansas City, Canton, MN, Ankeny, Rochester, MN, and a group whose team members came from Kansas City, Independence, Minneapolis and Council Bluffs. It sure would be fun to have more local teams in the competition next year.

There was something "fun" for everyone at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds - location of the Half-Way to St. Pat's event. As the barbecue contestants checked in, drivers of antique tractors gathered for a ride through the countryside. They returned to the fairgrounds and parked their tractors for all to see. In the mean time, vendors were setting up their wares in the exhibit building on the fairgrounds. Also on display was a group of restored vehicles for the crowd to admire. Teams participated in a Volleyball Tournament and a Bags Tournament during the day

The kids came to the fairgrounds mid-morning. While the temperature was a little bit cool, the young ones didn't seem to mind. They climbed to the top of the water slide and positioned themselves for a slippery ride to the holding tank of water below - then scampered to the top once again. Not far away were some kid games and beyond that Lauren Naig was drawing caricatures.

The smell of food was delicious! Kettle corn from one direction and hole hog barbecue from the other. We heard that Nick Fank spent the night tending the hog on the grill. And, we learned that the pig was named "Wilbur."

Music filled the air throughout the afternoon and evening.

Half-Way to St. Pat's concluded on Sunday with announcement of the barbecue competition.

Hats off to the volunteers from St. Pat's and the Fire Department for putting on a great event for the community.



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