In the community

Vale volunteer firefighter seeks teams for big-time barbecue cook-off

VALE – Derek Engelmann wants to kick off a new community event – a competition to barbecue the best-tasting ribs and brisket in the Treasure Valley.

He’s printed up flyers, created sign-up sheets along with rules and regulations. Now all he needs are competitors.

Engelmann, a volunteer Vale Fire and Rescue firefighter, came up with the four-person, 20-team competition as a way to bring the community together and provide funds for his department to buy new equipment and bolster its burn-out fund.

He said the competition is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at Wadleigh Park.

So far, though, he’s only been able to sign up one team.

“Basically, it is a cook off. You have a professional division and an amateur division. There will be cash prizes for the top three places,” said Engelmann.

A first-place finish will win $750 while second place will pay out $500 and third place captures $250. The cost to attend the event is $5.

Engelmann said he’s already done the groundwork for donations of beer and soft drinks for the event and is awaiting word regarding a beef contribution from Agri Beef Co in Boise.

“But we have to have 20 teams to make it happen, just to be able to pay out the cash prizes,” he said.

The registration fee for the event is $150 per team. To register and to get the rules for the competition those interested can go to the Vale Fire & Ambulance web page at

Once on the web site, click on the Events tab. The deadline for sign-ups is March 30. People can also contact Engelmann at 541-709-6062 to sign up.

Engelmann said his barbecue competition idea developed from his youth in southern Missouri.

In that area, he said, barbecue gatherings and competitions are a big deal.

“In the hometown I grew up in (Cape Girardeau) there are a dozen barbecue restaurants just in town. So, it’s kind of the epicenter of the barbecue world,” said Engelmann.

Engelmann said hopefully enough interest will be generated to make the competition an annual event.

“We are just trying to find a way to give back to the community. We always ask the community to help but we need to give back too and have some fun doing it,” he said.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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