LAKE PLACID - The aromas from the pit bosses will once again waft from the Olympic Speed Skating Oval when the ninth annual I Love BBQ and Music Festival returns July 4-6, benefitting the Thomas Shipman Youth Center in Lake Placid.
The festival venue is the site of Eric Heiden's five 1980 Winter Olympic gold medals in speed skating.
The Shipman Youth Center, just down Cummings Road from the oval, is a nonprofit organization providing support and programs for youth 10-18 years of age. The facility was inspired by the late Thomas Shipman, a Lake Placid police officer who dedicated his life to the area's youngsters.
Delish.com has ranked the I Love BBQ and Music Festival among its top 10 barbecue-themed events and festivals in the country. The Kansas City Barbecue Society, which sanctions the Lake Placid festival, has ranked it in its Top 20 nationwide.
Festival patrons can sample many barbecue delicacies during the weekend. There will be a pulled pork tasting event from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, July 4 for $3 per person. A $3 Rib Fest will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 5. It was formerly known as Buck-a-Rib and is held in memory of former festival competitor Mike Grudzinskas.
Musical acts will perform under the tent over the three days. These include Sven Curth, Lowell Bailey, The Michael Louis Band, Dan Saulpaugh, Pat Duffy, Spring Street and J.T. Cubbenah.
Entertainment will also come in the form of the Krusher BMX Stunt Team's high-energy BMX bike and in-line skating exhibitions all three days. There will be a kids' bounce-around area, face painting and coconut climbing trees as well. And for the third time in festival history, Dynomite, a mechanical bull, will appear.
USA Luge, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, helps support the organization of the I Love BBQ and Music Festival as a means of giving back to its home community.
In the event's previous eight years, it has raised nearly $150,000 for the Shipman Youth Center.
The I Love BBQ Junior World Championships will take place on Saturday, July 5, while Grand Champion and New York State Championship titles will be decided on Sunday, July 6.
Paul Smith's College will offer $20,000 in scholarship money for the medal winners in the junior world championships. Organizers of the festival are offering $9,000 in prize money, the most in the history of this event. The Grand Champion will take home $2,500. In addition, the junior world champions will receive $1,000 from the organizing committee, with a total of $4,000 distributed to the medal winners.
Milano North will sponsor the Top Chef competition on Saturday, July 5, beginning at noon. This event, featuring local chefs and pit masters, will enable patrons to view a food demonstration, with tasting to follow. The Top Chef event is dedicated to the memory of former competitor and Lake Placid Grand Champion Nancee Gell.
Four-time and defending junior world champion Tiffany Londeen of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, will bring her PepperQue team back to Lake Placid. She will be joined by several brothers.
Team Diva Q, led by pit master Danielle Dimovski, is coming back for the third consecutive year to compete in Lake Placid. The 2011 Jack Daniel's Barbecue World Champion (best barbecue pork class) will try to win the Lake Placid Grand Championship.