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Teams compete to win Atoka BBQ Festival

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Tim Steppe holds a slab of ribs Thursday night as his team, Swigs 'N Swines, prepares barbecue for its sponsor, Apex Homes. Photos by Echo Day


If the last two years are any indication of the way Atoka's new annual event will go, barbecue, music and a great time will be involved. And so will mud.
The three-day event began Thursday with a dinner for sponsors – like title sponsors Joyner Heat and Air and Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Co-operative –  and a breezy, 80-degree evening. By Friday morning, however, it was much colder and the ground was covered in mud.
"You deal with it," said Bill Scott, member of team F'N A BBQ. "There's always going to be mud at a barbecue festival."
Nobody seemed to mind, really. In fact, some teams, like the Rib-Ka-Teers, set the tents on their sites up well in advance of the rain to ensure dry ground in their workspace.
Barbecuing is serious business, of course, and teams were busy all day Friday covering ribs, pork shoulders and even whole hogs with various sauces, spices and rubs.
If you didn't make it, Friday is the day in which entries were prepared, teams played corn hole and 12 hours of music was played.
Ancillary entries – sides, seafood and dessert, for instance – were judged Friday evening and main entries were judged Saturday. Additionally, on Saturday, there were two dozen vendors and hundreds of children to ride the rides and check out the cars in the car show.
This year, the pie challenge and car show were new additions, a way to make the festival appeal to a broader audience.
Organizers say it worked as the festival was bigger and better than its first year.
Results were:
Challenger Division
Pulled Pork
3. Dang She's Swine
1. All About Que

5. Camo Cookers
4. All About Que
3. True 2 Que
2. Chancho Que
1. Moonlight Smokers

Challenger grand champion: All About Que

Pro Division
Whole Hog
5. Smokemasters
4. Sweet Swine O' Mine
3. Will B Que
2. Boars Nite Out
1. Victory Lane

5. Victory Lane
4. Boom Boom Que
3. Parrothead Porkers
2. Paradise Porkers
1. Pork Me Baby

5. Hoggy Style
4. Parrothead Porkers
3. Serial Grillers
2. Sweet Swine O' Mine
1. Boar's Nite Out

Pro grand champion: Victory Lane BBQ
Paradise Porkers also received an award for being the top local team.
To see photos from the event, visit the Town of Atoka's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TownofAtoka.

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