MASON CITY | Once upon a time, a weekend barbecue community celebration was an idea that the late Globe Gazette publisher Howard Query thought was worth pursuing.

Fourteen years later, the annual Up in Smoke BBQ Bash now draws thousands of people for two days of food, fun, fellowship and, of course, barbecue, made by chefs, cooks and novices who come from all over the country to compete with one another.

The Bash begins Friday night in East Park, running through Saturday afternoon. 

This year's Bash has a little bit of everything — play areas and a magic show for the kids; plus beer tasting for the adults; and live music and tasty food for young and old alike.

— John Skipper