‘The Best In Barbeque’ At Lake Shawnee’s Fifth Annual Smoke On The Water

Good old fashion eatin’ is promised Friday and Saturday at Lake Shawnee near Topeka.

“It’s the fifth annual Smoke on the Water barbeque contest October 11-12, Lake Shawnee Campground, 3435 SE East Edge Road, Topeka,” announced Josh Sturm, recreation leader at Lake Shawnee.

Being sanctioned for the second year by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS), renowned barbeque group, entries are already in from 40 teams throughout the Midwest, and there is additional interest daily.

“We’ve turned up the heat, and are now a KCBS sanctioned event. Regardless if you’re amateur or veteran, we still welcome you to fire up your grills to showcase your skills,” Sturm emphasized.

Barbecued meat is for eating, but the barbecue teams take the preparation very serious. “Some might also consider barbequing to be a sport, too, but there’ll be elaborate barbecue grills and preparation tools that are quite amazing to those who’ve never attended such an event,” Sturm related.

There are four divisions: chicken, pork, pork ribs and brisket. “It is interesting that some teams specialize in one meat, while many compete in all divisions, and are just as serious about one product as another,” Sturm pointed out.

This year’s competition takes on special significance as it is only the second year being sanctioned by the KCBS. “Entries are competing for yearend points, and this is the first tournament for the 2014 competition year, so we’ll have even more teams than some of the other similar events,” Sturm related.

Because the competition draws so much intense participation, quality of judges is of most importance, Sturm emphasized. “We’ll have some of the best judges from throughout the country approved by the KCBS,” Sturm assured.

Additionally, there will be vendor displays offering products related to barbecues including grills, spices, rubs, and cookware.

Teams are to be arriving from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., Friday, and can start cooking after their food has been inspected. Gates are open to the public from 11 a.m., to 10 p.m., Friday, with concessions by HHB BBQ, one of the corporate sponsors.

Along with the competition and barbecue-related attractions, special music shows are planned Friday evening and Saturday.

“We have the Cleveland Blue scheduled for a 90-minute show Friday evening at 7 o’clock, with additional live entertainment being booked for Saturday, from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m.,” Sturm said.


Gates are open on Saturday from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., with HHB BBQ again offering concessions, then the third annual Turkey Leg Eating Contest is at 2 p.m., and awards will be presented at 4 p.m.

Of special significance to many is that the Smoke on the Water at Lake Shawnee is free to the public.

“Everybody is welcome to come out and visit with the barbeque teams and sample their products if they offer them. Many of the teams also provide their services commercially for special events and will have information available for those interested in utilizing them,” Sturm related.

“All and all, it’ll be good eating, Blues music and fun for everyone at the fifth annual Smoke on the Water Friday evening and all day Saturday at Lake Shawnee. Hope to see you there,” Sturm invited.

Information is available at www.parksandrec.snco.us, or by calling 785-291-2612.