“We couldn’t be any prouder and happier about your response to and the stunning growth of the North Iowa Up In Smoke Barbeque Bash.”

Those words are from a 2006 editorial on the third annual Barbeque Bash.

But they’re just as true today as the Globe Gazette and its partners prepare for the seventh annual Bash on Friday and Saturday in Mason City’s East Park.

The response continues to be outstanding:

• A record of nearly 75 teams will compete for more than $14,000 in cash awards — and more than 35 percent of them are new this year.

• Competitors are coming from North Iowa as well as across the United States, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, the Dakotas, Georgia and Texas.

• Some of the biggest names in barbecue are heading their rigs this way, including the Bare Bones BBQ Team, the defending Up in Smoke grand champions, from Liberty, Mo.; and Pellet Envy, the 2009 Kansas City Barbecue Society points champ.

“We have a lot of great contenders,” said Ruth Miller, Globe Gazette marketing manager who serves as chief coordinator of the event with considerable help from co-workers. “We have some of the best teams. We are the biggest competition in Iowa. It is just amazing.”

• Also amazing are the huge crowds — barbecue fans who eat to their heart’s content and then some. There’s no way of counting them all, but every year vendors tell us they bring more product than the year before — and every year they tell us that “North Iowans must not have eaten for weeks.”

• There’s great free entertainment, too. This year we’ve booked one of the most popular bands in the Midwest for Friday night.

The Original Whitesidewalls Rock ’n’ Roll Revue will perform classic doo-wop, rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll from 7 to 11 p.m.

Mike Munshower, entertainment coordinator for the Bash, knows his music and calls The Whitesidewalls “the standard by which all ’50s and ’60s bands are judged. ... They’re legends here in the Upper Midwest.”

On Saturday, Charles City’s PV and the Phantoms will perform from 2 to 6 p.m.

“They’ve got a talented band there,” Munshower said.

So that’s what the Up In Smoke BBQ Bash is all about: Outstanding food and entertainment for the public, and intense competition among the best in barbecue contestants.

Yes, as is the case every year, we’re proud and happy about the continued outstanding response to the BBQ Bash. It takes a lot of planning and work, and it also takes some great sponsors to help make it happen. They’re listed here along with the schedule. We hope you’ll let them know how much you enjoy the Bash.

It is indeed a big event on the summer calendar.

“It gives all of us something to do on a nice summer weekend,” said Globe Gazette Publisher Howard Query, the founder of the BBQ Bash. “It’s great seeing people utilize East Park the way it should be.”

If you’ve Bashed before, you know what he’s talking about and can almost smell the great barbecue. If not, come on down and enjoy the fun.

Let the Bash begin!


The schedule:


5 p.m. — Beer garden, food court and kids’ playground open.

5:30 p.m. — Hy-Vee Chili Cookoff and Chili Tasting.

7 p.m. — Music by The Whitesidewalls. 

9 p.m. — Playground closes.

10 p.m. — Food court closes.

11 p.m. — Beer garden closes.


11 a.m. — Beer garden, food court and kids’ playground open.

11:30 a.m. — Kansas City Barbecue Society KCBS competition judging begins.

2 p.m. — Music by PV and The Phantoms.

3:30 p.m. — Awards ceremony.

4:30 p.m. — Music by PV and The Phantoms resumes.

6 p.m. — Beer garden, food court and kids’ playground close.



North Iowa Area Community College

Schukei Chevrolet 


Diamond Jo Casino

Lake Fireplace & Spa

Graham Tire

Midwest Construction


Premium Beverage Co.


See www.upinsmoke-bbqbash.com for more information.



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