6th Annual Elk Grove Western Festival & BBQ Championship, Elk Grove CA

Chris Allingham

Staff member
The sixth edition of the Elk Grove Western Festival & BBQ Championship was held May 3-4, 2019 in Elk Grove, CA, located 15 miles south of Sacramento. This was my third time judging this event, having done it in 2015, 2017, and now 2019.

The Western Festival is a fixture in this community, bringing old-fashioned fun to Elk Grove for 62 years! The KCBS-sanctioned barbecue contest adds another dimension to the event, giving visitors more to enjoy in addition to the carnival rides, food and merchandise vendors, live music, and the cool shady park venue. The contest is organized by Ed Anhorn of Big Bull BBQ Events & Productions...congrats to him for always putting on a great BBQ event!

Big congratulations go out to The Smoking J's and my buddy, sometimes fellow BBQ judge, and TVWBB member Martin Wilde for taking Grand Champion, and Big Poppa Smokers for taking Reserve Champion.

Here are some photos from the day...I hope you enjoy them!

The uniform of the day!

This is why we're here.

Judges gearing up for the contest.

An open invitation for all to join KCBS!

Two judges--Tony Ucciferri and Kevin Utz--celebrating their 30th contest by leading everyone in the KCBS Judges Oath. Congratulations, gentlemen!

Teams are preparing to turn in their best cuts of meat to the judges.

Flags flying high over the team area.


Chris Allingham

Staff member

Elk Grove Regional Park, a beautiful venue for this event.

"What's it going to take to put you in a new Kia today?"

The corn dogs were an easier sell than the new cars...

You can't resist the bright primary colors, the deep-fried smell...

...and the golden, brown and delicious coating on these jumbo corn dogs.

The Sheldon High School Marching Band from Sacramento paraded through the shady park.

Gayle Haugen of party band Hey Monkey sings the AC/DC classic, "You Shook Me All Night Long".

The Blue Canyon Western Historical Preservation Society was on-hand to show us what life was like in the 1800s.

Guys in period costumes cooking over live fire. Don't get your BofA bank bag too close to the flames!

I didn't get to taste the stew, but it looked pretty tasty! (Did they have baby carrots in the 1800s?)


Chris Allingham

Staff member

Last and least, it was a stop at my favorite out-of-town supermarket, Nugget Market, with locations throughout the Sacramento Valley but none where I live in Silicon Valley. Such a quality store, I stop and shop whenever I'm near one. This one in Elk Grove is differentiated by its amazing sunflower paint scheme.

At Nugget Market, I picked up a package of Tender Belly cherry-smoked bacon. If you watch my videos and have a mind like a steel trap, you may recall that I mentioned seeing Tender Belly products at the 2019 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco earlier this year. This was my chance to try their stuff...and it's delicious, I must say.

Barb D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Those were great pics and lots of fun being had by all. I wish we had something like that in our area. Thanks again for sharing your trips with us.