Santa Fe College Boots ‘n BBQ Cook-Off: Food and Family Fun

Florida’s most fun winter weekend, plus sweet treats you can’t beat!

Bring your sweet tooth to Santa Fe College’s Boots ‘n BBQ Cook-Off and scholarship fundraiser. Grownups and kids alike will find plenty to satisfy their cravings at the dessert-filled Sweet Tooth Booth. Desserts are a specialty in Bradford County, which stakes its claim as home of “the sweetest strawberries this side of heaven.”

“We’ll have fantastic sweet potato pies baked by women who sold enough of them to build a church. There’ll be homemade fudge from our great candy makers. And the cakes, the cakes–they are beyond description,” said Sylvia Tatum, dessert organizer and SF Foundation board member.

Candy bar cake, Italian cream cake, pound cake (with or without sour cream), old fashioned chocolate covered cherries–is your mouth watering yet? There’s also chocolate pie made from the locally famous Whitehead Recipe which has been handed down through the family and guarded as a secret.

The cooks of Bradford County love to turn out fantastic confections and donate them to fundraisers. According to Tatum they are highly skilled amateurs; not one of them is a professional baker.

Local golf pro David Elder specializes in unique cakes; he baked and decorated his cake as a tractor last year. Peggy Godwin, mother of SF Andrews Center director Cheryl Canova, contributes her favorite sour cream pound cake.

“Our donors are men and women who just enjoy baking and sharing,” said Tatum. “They use their special recipes and it’s a contribution to the community.” All proceeds go to the scholarship fund to help Bradford County students attend SF.

New this year is the way folks can sample things–baked goods will be sold by the slice. This opens up a wide range of tasting opportunities to festival goers. Desserts will be on sale beginning Thursday, the first night of the festival, and throughout the three-day event.

Tatum is an avid supporter of Boots ‘n BBQ “because it puts the spotlight on Santa Fe College, which is my heart, and on Bradford County, which is my heart. It’s ‘the’ event for our county for the year.”

A community college and University of Florida graduate herself, both of Tatum’s daughters attended Santa Fe before transferring to UF. One daughter became a teacher and the other a certified public accountant.

“Students get a strong foundation at Santa Fe, and other programs are offered–not all of us need to go to four years of college,” said Tatum. “SF is attuned to the market, not just educating the student to be educated, but to provide for himself and add to the community. It’s all about community!”

Tatum says Boots ‘n BBQ is a great event to find within 30 minutes of Gainesville. She feels, in fact, it’s a national event with the best barbecue teams coming from all over the country.

“You can’t beat the food and fun!” said Tatum. “We’re all about community participation.”

SF Boots ‘n BBQ features professional chefs, family fun, and live entertainment all weekend. The 2011 festival runs 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10; 5-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11; and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Bradford County Fairgrounds, rain or shine. Admission is $5 per day.

To learn more about the festival call Kathryn Lehman at 352-395-5355 or 904-964-5382 ext. 5355, or e-mail kathryn.lehman@sfcollege.edu. Visit www.bootsnbbq.com for images, more information and travel directions.