Santa Fe College Boots ‘n BBQ Cook-off — Super BBQ, Serious Prizes

Added attraction – Florida’s only chain saw art competition!

Professional BBQ teams from Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Missouri compete for top prizes in the Santa Fe College Boots ‘n BBQ Cook-off Feb. 12-13 at the Bradford County Fairgrounds. This is an official Florida state championship BBQ cook-off with $10,000 in prizes awarded under Florida Barbecue Association rules. The contest is also a Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue qualifier.

“Last year 21 pro teams and 12 amateur (backyard) teams competed, and I think we’ll top that this year,” said Kathryn Lehman, festival organizer. Local backyard barbecuers are encouraged to form teams and compete. Many amateur chefs attended a free food demonstration in December for tips on how the judges like to see BBQ presented.

A new contest attraction is the chain saw art competition–the only one in Florida. About eight artists so far are signed up to compete. One of them is Santa Fe College graduate Sam Knowles whose chain saw carving of University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was stationed outside a Gainesville eatery. Due to publicity restrictions, however, the carving had to be modified and now bears the likeness of former UF quarterback Danny Wuerffel.

Chain saw art contests are held all over the world and are highly competitive. For those who would like to know more there are many Web sites with videos and stories that open the door to this fascinating craft.

Why add chain saw art? In Lehman’s words, “As Santa Fe is an inclusive institution, Bradford County is a cultural crossroads. In Bradford Fest we go from ballet to barbecue.” (Bradford Fest began in November with a performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet by Dance Alive National Ballet. The festival runs for several months with many community activities.)

In addition to the chain saw art competition, Boots ‘n BBQ features live entertainment all weekend plus a kids arcade and kids crafts. There’s also a cake auction, dessert contest, quilt display, and health and literacy exhibits. The 2010 festival runs 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Bradford County Fairgrounds, rain or shine. Admission is $3 daily; children under 12 are free. Boots ‘n BBQ is a fundraiser for scholarships to help Bradford County students attend Santa Fe College.

To enter the barbecue or chain saw competition and for more information call 352-395-5355, 904-964-5382 ext. 5355, or e-mail kathryn.lehman@sfcollege.edu. Visit www.sfcollege.edu/bradfordfest.