LAKE PLACID - Are you hungry?
If you aren't now, you will be as soon as you approach the Olympic Speedskating Oval. The annual I Love BBQ and Music Festival is set to begin Thursday and run through Saturday, so the sweet and savory scents of smoking meats will be sending citizens within smelling distance into a salivating frenzy all weekend.
People from near and far will come to town and try out their best sauce recipes on pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, chicken and even pizza, and plenty of BBQ will be for sale to hungry festival-goers as they check out the many local bands and BMX bike stunt riders.
The BMX riders will perform daily at the I Love BBQ and Music Festival.
Photos/Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News
"It will be a lot of fun," said head organizer Dmitry Feld.
The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, which will offer $8,500 in prize money, the most in the history of this event. The winner of the I Love BBQ Junior World Championships will take home $4,000 from the organizing committee.
The Lake Placid festival started about nine years ago, and Feld estimates it has grown by about 10 percent every year since then. The KCBS has ranked it in its top 20 nationwide, which means the Great American BBQ Tour will visit this year. The tour's Mike and Christine Peters will showcase their culinary talent, offer tastings to the public and teach the public barbecue and outdoor cooking techniques.
"You earn this through the years," Feld said. "Lake Placid has the charm."
The Peters are taking their tour mostly through the south and west, and they are looking forward to heading north.
"We are excited to spend the Fourth of July in Lake Placid, N.Y.," they wrote on their blog in an overview of this year's tour.
About 15 barbecue teams had registered for the competition in June, and about 70 percent of them were new participants in the Lake Placid event.
In addition to tons of delicious food, Jagger Co. will also return with its BMX bicycle stunt riders. The riders will perform three shows, one each day, which start with technical maneuvers on the ground and work their way up to crowd-wowing stunts, such as 360-degree turns, tailwhips, barspins and back flips.
Feld is also planning a number of kid-friendy activities, like inflatable bounce houses, a mechanical bull, games and face painting.
The event will also feature local bands, kicking off at noon Thursday with popular jam band Lucid. Other popular acts will play hour-long sets throughout each day, including Lost Dog, Stone Revival Band, Stoneground Express, Sven Curth, Big Slyde and Split Rock.
The event kicks off at noon Thursday and closes out the weekend at 6 p.m. Saturday on the Olympic Oval on Main Street. Daily admission is $6 for adults, while children under 10 get in free.
The money raised through the event goes to benefit the Shipman Youth Center.
For more information, go to www.ilbbqf.com.