Another competition goes by the wayside.
It was revealed this week what I had expected, that the BBQ contest Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock park here in Connecticut has officially been cancelled. That followed news that the East Hartford contest would not be happening this year, and there will be no state championship in Maine and Rhode Island either.
That means that out of the six New England states, only Vermont and Massachusetts are certain to have qualifying contests for 2008. New Hampshire may have one too, but ongoing venue problems and a weak prize pool have made it possible that the June event in Merrimack may not be able to attract the minimum of 25 teams it needs to be a qualifier.
Fortunately, some outstanding events have developed in nearby New York. The I Love BBQ Festival in Lake Placid, the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz and the Battle of the BBQ Brethren were all huge successes in 2007 and are returning in 2008.
But what can we do to get Jack Daniel's qualifiers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine? I wish I had the answers, but I don't. But it is a shame that those states have no qualifier, as I would love to see more New England teams have a chance to go to the Jack. Unfortunately, there will probably only be three or four New England teams heading to the 2008 Jack. That's a shame.
I personally pledge to do whatever I can to get an '09 qualifier in Connecticut. Even if it means holding a contest in a vacant lot.