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Mmm ... meat: I Love BBQ and Music Festival returns July 5-7

July 4, 2019
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - More than 30 competitive barbecue teams from the U.S. and Canada will converge on the Olympic Speedskating Oval this weekend for the 14th annual I Love BBQ and Music Festival, set for July 5-7.

The festival is a fundraiser for the Shipman Youth Center and features teams competing mainly in the Northeast Barbecue Society's Grilling and BBQ Bash on Friday and Kansas City Barbeque Society's contest on Sunday. As of last week, there were 35 competitive teams signed up (26 from the U.S and nine from Canada).

The NEBS competition has four categories: New York strip steak, fatty sausage, pizza and chicken. The KCBS competition also has four categories: pork ribs, brisket, chicken and pulled pork.

Article Photos

Hungry men stand in line for a barbecue meal during the 2018 I Love BBQ and Music Festival at the Olympic Speedskating Oval in Lake Placid. The festival returns July 5-7.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Educating the public about the competition continues to be a challenge, especially when spectators begin to salivate with the smell of smoked meat in the air, according to festival organizer Dmitry Feld.

"I always try to explain, 'The teams come here to compete. They're not here to feed you.' That's why we do the Best Ribs in the East on Saturday," Feld said.

The Best Ribs in the East contest is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, and it will allow the public to sample ribs for $2 each.

"You can go from team to team and try as many as you want," Feld said.

For hungry festival-goers, there will be barbecue concession stands on the Oval.

"We're trying to accommodate the public as much as we can," Feld said.

The festival will also include music, children's activities, arts and crafts, vendors, food demonstrations, and the Krusher Stunt Team Free Style BMX bike show. New this year will be the Lake Placid Strongman Invitational, a United States Strongman event organized by John Cerruti and Phil Brown. There are 31 men and 10 women entered in the contest.

Over the years, live music has become integral to the success of the festival. This year's partial entertainment schedule includes Peter Pashoukos, Larry Stone, John 'Mad Dog' Marino, Sven Curth, Owen Magurk and JT Cubbeneh on Friday; Scott Sileo, Crosswinds Jam Band, Kyle Widrig, Amber in Green, Wickmoore Jazz Trio and Loud and Stupid on Saturday; and Pat Duffy, Ausable Branch and Scarsdale Vibe on Sunday.

Organized by USA Luge as a means of giving back to its community, the I Love BBQ and Music Festival will provide needed funding for the nearby Shipman Youth Center. In the first 13 years, the festival has generated $265,000 for the center. It is the center's biggest fundraiser of the year.

The festival schedule on the Olympic Oval runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 5-6, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 7.

Daily admission on the Olympic Oval is $7 per adult, and includes free admission for children to the inflatable area. There is a $5 charge for youngsters to climb the Coconut Tree. Youngsters under 10 will be admitted free of charge. The festival is alcohol and tobacco-free. Patrons of the I Love NY Horse Show and the I Love BBQ and Music Festival can enter the other event for free by just displaying their admission tickets.

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