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City Barbecue Blowout returns April 25-26

Smoked meats in the open air, vendors and entertainment.

These are ingredients for a picture- perfect spring day and is the recipe that the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce plans to follow for the Second Annual Pony Express BBQ Blow Out.

The public is invited to festivities on Friday and Saturday, April 25 to 26, at Lafayette Park on the north side of town.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we debuted this event last year but the community came out and really had a good time,” said Anne Anderson, Community Development Office director. “We’ve built on that momentum, adding events and honing the schedule.”

Dozens of barbecue teams from Nebraska and surrounding states will vie for $7,000 in prize money during the two-day event.

Last year, Anderson said 47 teams competed in the inaugural challenge.

New this year is a local “Backyard BBQ” contest, where up to 15 teams will cook ribs and chicken and an optional side. The public can sample the fare and choose the winners of three cash prizes.

“People asked for more barbeque this year and we couldn’t argue with that,” Anderson said. “I’m sure people will have fun seeing what their friends and neighbors have cooked up.”

Teams are still encouraged to register as are vendors and anyone interested in the backyard contest. Call the chamber at 537-3505.

Another addition to this year’s schedule is a Rotary After Dark Beer Garden at the roping grounds Friday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. There will also be entertainment by 3oh8.

Anderson said the schedule is full of events for the family: bounce houses, horse-back rides, a kids’ farm chore relay and more. Vendors will display arts, crafts and specialty items and spaces are still available.

Other events on Saturday include the Lion Club Pancake Feed, from 7 to 9 a.m., in the Lafayette Park pavilion, city wide garage sales and horse shoe pitching at noon.

“Not only does this promise to be a fun event, a good chance to break that cabin fever but it also helps support important chamber programs, including the Ag Future of America scholarship fund,” Anderson said.

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