Welcome to the 5th Annual Santa Anita Winners Circle BBQ Championship. I started this collection of images with the word; Magic. There is just a magical feeling at this competition. The venue, surrounding San Gabriel mountain's scenery, weather, happy crowds, race fans and the most fantastic bbq competition all add up for a weekend of fun in the sun. How can I explain the excitement of judging some of the best ribs ever and hearing the roar and thunder of the horses racing so very close by. This was our second year of attending and we would like to share a few images with you.
I had never seen the Weber Smoky Mountain insulated covers in action. These insulated blankets help maintain constant heat in lower night temperatures. It sure looks fancy and a little spaceship like. The image above shows an assortment of smoking woods. It sure pays to be prepared for all flavor profiles.
This event attracts a large crowd of bbq hungry patrons. They were able to purchase bbq and then vote for their favorite dishes. I saw a lot of bbq smeared smiles in this bunch.. You can see the line for the famous television bbq personality Harry Soo. He competed and vended some award winning bbq. He also had his lineup of sauces and rubs for sale. In between races you could listen to a rocking live band. There was a lot to do. This venue even has a special area just for childrens attraction. This is perfect to occupy the young ones while placing wagers.
This is a statue of the famous Sea Biscuit. The racing grandstands are a tribute to old school elegance. One feels like they have stepped back in time with this immaculate and historic race track. You can even have your car valet parked at the 'Turf Club'. We loved it.
It was bound to happen. Somebody dumped live coals into the dumpster. The staff was on it liquidity split. The staff and racetrack personnel ran a tight ship to make this a smooth running event.
It had been a long day of festivities. The teams assembled for the awards. I missed the memo to wear red at this juncture of the day. We cheered the winners. The promoters and 'reps' had done a fantastic job to pull off such a fabulous event. The Grand Champion "Rooftop BBQ' was awarded a plaque and a wheelbarrow full of cash. Maybe not a wheelbarow but I am sure it was a sizable amount. We cannot wait til next year to experience the magic again.