The Great Adirondack BBQ Festival Old Forge, NY
By Stephanie West, MABA Vice-President and “The Neck” Pitmaster for Team 270 Smokers
Congratulations to Max Cohen and the townspeople of Old Forge, NY for putting on a terrific 1st year event! It was a KCBS sanctioned NY State Championship and 24 teams came out to compete at the “Base Camp of the Adirondacks” despite widespread reports of BEAR the prior week. Yes, bear are alive and (very) well in the region of Old Forge! A mama scampered her 2 cubs up a tree right on Main Street, causing the police to reroute traffic for several hours. The locals would’ve known to just leave those bear in peace however Old Forge attracts a lot of tourists – and everyone wants that photo for Facebook! (Someone did, indeed, get a photo and it’s downloaded here from FB for your pleasure!) No doubt, Mama bear was salivating at the thought of all the brisket and ribs to be smoked at the upcoming Great Adirondack BBQ Festival!
Max Cohen and his team took great care to repeatedly emphasize the importance of diligent preventative measures to keep those bears at bay…he did a regular check to ensure coolers were locked up & bear-proof, no garbage was left out, cars & campers were locked, and he even kept up his rounds of bear-patrol during the night on his golf cart. This was one very dedicated and safety-minded contest organizer, and as a result it was completely uneventful from a wildlife perspective! The raccoons didn’t even show up.
The contest was held on the most spectacular stretch of turf that we’ve ever been on at a competition – freshly mown soccer fields! We were within easy walking distance of downtown and the lake. The community center at the soccer field had cedar-lined bathrooms with a shower, open all night long for the teams. There were no trophies or ribbons, however a very generous $10K+ prize pool for a small 1st year event. Volunteers collected our extra BBQ for a regional Veterans home, so nothing here was wasted. We’ll definitely try to do this event again next year and plan to spend a few extra days in the area to enjoy some kayaking, hiking, and the charms of Old Forge!
First place winners:
Chicken – Checkered Flag 500 BBQ
Ribs –Good Smoke BBQ
Pork –Hellfire BBQ NY
Brisket –270 Smokers
Grand Champion –4:20 Q
Reserve Grand Champion –Priorville