Susanville residents sample a variety of barbecued meats —chicken, ribs, pork and brisket — at a previous Lassen Senior Services BBQ Cook-off. This year’s event, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Lassen County Fairgrounds. File photo

Lassen Senior Services hosts fifth annual BBQ Cook-off

Lassen Senior Services’ BBQ Cook-off, now in its fifth year, is becoming one of Susanville’s tastiest and most popular new traditions. What began as a mostly local competition in a Main Street parking lot has grown into an honest-to-goodness barbecue cook-off sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society with trained, certified judges (who know all the finer points of the barbecue game) in which competitors earn points that count toward national rankings. All proceeds benefit Lassen Senior Services

This year’s event, held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Lassen County Fairgrounds features a variety of low and slow barbecued meats — chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. There is a small admission charge to cover the maintenance at the fairgrounds.

Adding to the excitement and the quality of the event, cook-off participants will compete for $10,000 in prize money. The awards ceremony will be held about 5 p.m.

Penny Artz, executive director of Lassen Senior Services, said this year’s event will feature 25 to 27 barbecue teams. About a dozen of those teams will compete in the People’s Choice category — they provide free samples and the public decides which is the best.

Artz said there are many raffle items, including a queen-sized quilt (donated by Jane Gardner) and a Treager barbecue grill and smoker (donated by All Seasons Air).

The cook-off is designed to satisfy more than the urge for barbecue with other attractions for the entire family including a kiddie play area with a waterslide, a bounce house, a shaved ice truck, face painting, live music and a classic car show.

A new feature this year is the Kids’ Q — in which children show off their skills on the grill and earn points, too. Artz hopes to grow this part of the cook-off in the years ahead.

For more information, call Artz at Lassen Senior Services at 257-2113.