Calling all cooks! Registration for the Claremore Boots and BBQ Festival is open. Hosted by the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club, this year’s event celebrates 13 years in Claremore. Boots and BBQ will be at the Claremore Expo Center on Saturday, June 2, with cooks checking in on June 1 from 10 am to 5 pm. Cooks can enter their award-winning secret recipes for chicken, beef, pork, ribs, and dessert and are encouraged to enter the People’s Choice Competition. Cash prizes total $7500, from 10th place to 1st place, Reserve and Grand.
“The People’s Choice Award is voted on by the public from tasting entries by cooks that participate,” said John Walke, teams coordinator. “We supply teams that participate in the People’s Choice Award with one or more pork butts. They use their secret ingredients of spices and rubs, and cooking techniques, and offer tastes to the public. It is like an all-you-can-eat barbeque buffet; you will never leave hungry!”
All proceeds from cook’s registrations and People’s Choice taster kit sales go to programs sponsored by the Claremore Reveille Rotary. “This is Reveille Rotary’s largest fundraiser of the year,” said Ron McVicar, club president. “The proceeds from this event allows our club to support Rogers County school programs and support the students. Each year we provide every third-grader in Rogers County with a new, personalized dictionary. When they are delivered by club members, the kids’ faces light up with excitement, like it is Christmas. Each year we receive some heartwarming ‘thank yous’ from the students, teachers and school administrators to show their appreciation, which makes the effort even more important.”
Rotary’s mission is “Service Above Self” and Claremore’s Reveille strives to enhance the lives of young students throughout Rogers County. “Proceeds from Boots and BBQ have allowed us to apply and receive a matching grant of $6,000 from Rotary International. Our club received $4,000 from RI and we matched it with $2,000 to donate all $6,000 to the Rogers County Salvation Army Food 4-Kids Backpack Program,” said president-elect Tanya Andrews. “No child should be hungry and with these funds we were able to provide for children on a waiting list.”
Kansas City Barbeque Society and its members take these competitions seriously, and so does Claremore’s Boots and BBQ. It is a great event for a great cause. The Claremore Expo Center is located in the heart of Claremore and offers a large parking area for cook’s space, RV spaces for rent (electric only), and a green space for the children’s area. More information and Cook’s registrations can be found at www.claremorereveille.com or call Tanya Andrews at 918-341-8688.