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BBQ competition heats up

(7/17) The Mayor’s Community Bar-b-que may be over two weeks away, but things are already heating up between the contestants.

“I try to aggravate people, egg them on,” said Allen Fitzgerald, last years winner.

Fitzgerald says he eggs on people for one reason, to get more and better competition to enter the contest.

Even though he holds the title, Fitzgerald says he’s not in it for the glory.

“I love doing it whether or not I win,” Fitzgerald said. “I do it [BBQ] every chance I get.”

In fact, many of the contestants said they weren’t entering the competition for the title, but for different reasons.

Like Kerry Shorb, who will be cooking under the name of Scotty’s Ride.

“I wanted to do it for the community,” Shorb said, “and to get information out on Scott’s Ride and to have a good time and support the mayor.”

And although he said he’s not in it to win, he thinks he stands a chance.

“No one has tasted our chicken yet, so I guess we have a good of chance as anyone,” Shorb said.

Even Maryland State Competitor David Nash, competing under the name Hot Belly BBQ, has won three other competitions thus far but said he’s not looking to win anything.

But Emmitsburg Mayor James Hoover, who started the event last year, doesn’t buy all the talk.

“They’re all in it for the bragging rights,” Hoover said.

Regardless of their motivation, each contestant has a different reason for why their chicken is special. For Fitzgerald it’s his method of cooking, low and slow, that set his chicken apart. For Shorb, it’s the element of surprise – the fact that no one has tasted his chicken before. And for Nash it’s his marinade and rub that contains 28 different spices which he thinks will set him apart.

But for now everyone will have to sit back and wait to see who is named “Emmitsburg’s Grand Griller” until Aug. 2, a day that Hoover is looking forward to.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Hoover said. “I think there will be some good, friendly competition.”

Anyone still interested in entering the competition may do so until July 27 by contacting Hoover.

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