MASON CITY | At least 25 teams from across the U.S. will compete for up to $9,500 in prize money at the 14th annual North Iowa Up in Smoke BBQ Bash this week in Mason City.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competition, which includes a food festival and live music, is Friday and Saturday at the North Iowa Events Center.
The Bash is considered one of the top barbecue competitions in the Midwest.
Competing teams will barbecue pork shoulder, ribs, brisket and chicken for the judges. Points are awarded for taste, tenderness and presentation.
Judges will select overall grand and reserve champions as well as divisional winners. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in several categories.
Points earned at the Bash go toward the season-long KCBS contest, which names the barbecue team of the year.
The roster of teams signed up for this year's Up in Smoke BBQ Bash includes recent winners: Pig Skin BBQ, Rockwell; Lucky's Q, Waverly; Chickhooven Swine BBQ, Spring Hill, Kansas; and Grills Gone Wild Iowa, Algona.
At the event, at least three barbecue teams and other vendors will also sell items in the food area. Tickets to purchase food items can be purchased at a booth during the Bash.
A beer garden will feature craft and specialty beers. The tasting begins at 4 p.m. Friday.
The Mason City Jaycee's will also host a bag, or corn hole, tournament at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Entertainment includes Up in Smoke regulars Standing Hampton, along with BJ Huffman and Jesse Allen.