Grill Fest 2019 gets underway Friday evening

42 Tourney going strong; cooking teams getting in place

The aroma of smokers stoked up already was in the air Friday evening at the Shelby County Expo Center and Rodeo Arena on Texas Hwy 7 East as Grill Fest 2019 activities got underway.

Cooking teams were busy getting their smokers, equipment and secret seasonings ready in hopes they can create a taste that will whet the judges' taste buds enough to get them in the money.

Admission is free and the gates open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 6.

In addition to sampling great barbeque attendees can participate in the Washer Pitching Tournament, Sponsored by Mathews Real Estate and the 42 Tournament, Sponsored by Shelby Savings Bank.

The Washer Pitching Tournament will begin at 12 Noon on Saturday. It is $10 per person to participate and the winner takes the jackpot prize.

The 42 Tournament got underway Friday evening. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and the tournament began at 7 p.m.

Finals were scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Winner takes the jackpot prize.

Organizers said the event will go on rain or shine on Saturday with the covered arena providing plenty of space to stay dry if necessary.

About 20 cooking teams from Texas and Louisiana are competing for prize money this weekend at the Chillin and Grillin Grill Fest.

Grill Fest is presented by Farmers State Bank in conjunction with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. The event is sanctioned by the Lonestar Barbeque Society.

Prize money for the top 50 percent of the cook teams will be awarded in three categories – Pork Spare Ribs, Chicken and Brisket, organizers said.

Trophies will be awarded for Grand Champion and Reserve Champion. Awards are sponsored by the City of Center.

Chamber of Commerce officials said a special “thank you” goes out to all the sponsors who have made this event possible: Farmers State Bank, Pilgrims Pride, Tyson Foods, Shelby Savings Bank, the City of Center, Rapid Payday & Title Loans, Mathews Real Estate, Ace Hardware of East Texas, B&S A/C and Heating, Watson and Sons Funeral Home, 4C Electric, Hughes Florist, Moody Waste Management, H&R Block and Despino’s Tires.