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Holy Smokes! Barbecue Throwdown in Wildomar Getting Hot

The third annual Barbecue State Championship and People’s Choice Tastings will be held in Wildomar Saturday.

A barbecue cook-off is planned for Saturday in Wildomar, with competitors from all over the country -- and a team from the United Kingdom -- expected to attend, while the public is invited to feast.

The Barbecue State Championship and People’s Choice Tastings to be held at 21330 Waite Street, a 27-acre lot that is currently for sale, is in its third year.

(to read about last year's event.)

“We had about 6,500 people last year and we’re expecting about 8,000 this year,” said Henry Silvestre, president of the Wildomar Rotary Club. The Wildomar club organizes the annual event, with the help of sponsorships from various companies and utilities.

For those who are sticklers on barbecue, there are some cook-off guidelines this weekend: Prohibited at the event -- which is judged by Kansas City Barbeque Society rules -- are any type of grills. Unlike Texas barbecue, which involves digging pits and burning wood overnight, competitors will use smokers, Silvestre said.

Though anyone can barbecue at the event -- teams are not required to be certified by the KCBS -- all must follow the KCBS rules.

Meat can be trimmed but cannot be marinated until it is checked by certified KCBS judges.

"Once the meat is checked, they can do anything they want to it; they can inject it, they can marinate it, they can rub it," Silvestre said.

KCBS rules strictly specify how long it can take to turn meat and how it is presented -- no aluminum foil stuck to pieces, each piece separated from the other when presented for tasting.

A little more than half the teams will cook extra meat and other items for sale to the public, such as bacon in brown sugar, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, then smoked. These are called "Atomic Buffalo Turds."

Last year's barbecue event raised $25,000, once expenses had been paid and the $12,000 purse awarded. It costs about $35,000 to put on the event, Silvestre said.

This year the organizers hope to raise $30,000 after expenses, to be used for various community projects, Silvestre said. About 80 percent goes toward the Wildomar community, Silvestre said; the other 20 percent toward international projects.

The organization will hold a survey in April to determine where the public believes there is the greatest need for assistance.

“We stand in front of Stater Bros. or Albertsons and ask the community what they would like to see,” Silvestre said.

The final decisions will be made just before the end of the fiscal year, in June, Silvestre said.

Last year, some of the money raised at the event was used to send children with socialization problems to the yearly Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp. Children are sent to a camp in the San Bernardino Mountains over one weekend to learn how to become leaders, Silvestre explained. Wildomar sends about five children a year, at a total of $2,000, Silvestre told Patch.

The event proceeds also

it was intended to teach the community rules of the road for cyclists.

Some of the money also went toward refurbishing wheel chairs sent to Mexico.

Funds were also sent to the national chapter of the Rotarians, to be put toward digging fresh water wells around the world.

Locally, funds were used to buy dictionaries for third-graders.

Local merchants also benefit from the teams that come into the community and buy goods for their entries.

Since there are no motels in Wildomar, visitors are referred to Comfort Inn Suites in Murrieta. Comfort Inn is a sponsor of the event, along with , Loews, Stadium Pizza, Southern California Gas Co., CR&R Waste Services, Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac and

In addition to Saturday’s event – to be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- there will be a carnival for the kids at different times over three days.

On Friday, the carnival will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to organizers.

Saturday’s carnival hours will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday the rides and games will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., organizers said.

There will also be live music, a kids’ play area and wine and beer gardens.

Wildomar resident Gidget Giles will also be finishing her at the barbecue event and is expected to arrive at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Her “Century Ride for Park Pride” sponsor donations will benefit Wildomar parks, she said.

She told Patch she hopes to raise money for her city's three parks -- two of which are closed and one of which is in peril.

P.J. April 05, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Why are we spending money on refurbishing wheel chairs sent to Mexico? Aren't there enought broken wheel chairs in the USA? Sheesh.
Ryan Filar April 05, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Good question P.J. I did some research and it turns out Mexican people are "people" too. Just like us. Must be some kind of "Good will towards men" thing. Hmm..
J Carabine April 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
It was fabulous last year, must stop by !
julian April 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Sounds delicious. This article is making me hungry. I love all the regional varieties of BBQ. Ryan Filar, makes a good point above about good will towards men...
Diana April 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Wildomar has figured it out, how to put on a great event and share with their community and other charitable organizations, we will be attending this for sure but will miss Big Jim's tri-tip, formerly "Big Jim's Grill" in Lakeland Village, maybe he will pay us a visit from his new home in Colorado!
THE REAL Anita Drink April 07, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Big Jim's Grill was located in Lake Elsinore.
Tanya Witt April 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
We attended yesterday and had a great time. Hope the event continues to grow.

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