Beans, chicken, brisket and ribs were the order of the day in Dublin Saturday as folks came from miles around to participate in the BBQ, Beans & Blarney Cook-off with 38 entries.
And the weather held for the “tractor pull” competition with more than 40 entries for that group.
Judging entries was serious business and all judges received instructions from Kim Draper, head judge and member of the Lone Star BBQ Society.
Draper said she got involved with the group about five years ago and normally enters 15-20 contests along with her husband around the state.
She instructed judges to look for the best entries in categories of aroma, visual appeal, texture and taste.
First-, second- and third-place winners qualified to participate in the championship cook-off to be held in Tennessee. They also received cash prizes.
The tractor pull was held in a shady area of the city park. Gary Henderson, sled owner, said many of the tractors seen had been handed down through the generations. One of the sleds being pulled weighed 34,000 pounds.
Henderson said tractor pulls have evolved from team horse competition pulls. He said in the “olden days” people would bring teams of horses and pull weights eleven feet.
“Whoever was the last one to pull for eleven feet was the winner,” Henderson said. Henderson said the winners received a trophy and no cash prizes are offered.
For Raymond Whitney, his son Don and grandson Jeremy, tractor pulling is a family affair. All three men participate in different classes. Raymond said he first started competition pulling in 1974.
“I used to use farm tractors but don’t use them anymore,” Raymond said. Now, he builds his own tractors to compete with.
“It’s a good, clean sport,” Raymond said. “There are five divisions so you can spend what you want to.”
“We have moms and grandmas pulling, too,” Henderson said. “It’s a family sport.”
Henderson called the turn out for the pull “pretty good” but he said, “This year it’s wet and fuel is high so they (competitors) hunt and pick where they want to go.”
Henderson said more people turn out in drought years because they aren’t farming as much but he also said some live in town and don’t farm at all.