AUGUSTA, NJ – The Sussex County Fairgrounds was packed with, people, music and great eats yesterday, Sunday September 21, at the Champion of the Grill BBQ & Blues Fest.
The weather was ideal for the annual festival, with temperatures on the last full day of summer in the 80’s.
Admission to this annual event hosted by the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce is free, and, while they last, attendees can sample grilled specialties and vote for their favorites. There are also vendors at the event selling a variety of fare and beverages to savor, while walking around or sitting in the entertainment area to listen to the music.
Additionally, the 11th Annual Classic Car Show, 2nd Annual Motorcycle Show, vendors and exhibitors are present.
Among some of those up for the grilling competition were Smokin’ Steves BBQ, the Stadium Bar & Grill, Team Eastern, Charlie Shay’s Traveling BBQ, Sussex County Technical School Grilling Team, EM Electrical Grill Team, and Prime Time Meats.
Lines wrapped around the covered area where teams such as the Sussex County Technical School, EM Electrical Grill Team, and Prime Time Meats were located. Those awaiting samples did not seem to mind, and noted that the lines moved quickly. Those able to sample, moved from table to table as they waited online.
Those at Smokin’ Steves offered a range of samples, such as beef brisket, homemade slaw, pulled pork, and jalapeno poppers. A representative from the group, said that they were defending champions, and had the youngest competitor in the whole contest on its team.
NJ Inside Scene, had a chance to sample the brisket from Smokin’ Steves, as well as Stadium Bar & Grill’s skirt steak. The skirt steak was cooked rare, and offered a melt in your mouth experience. Homemade peach and blueberry barbecue sauces accompanied it, as well as the cinnamon liqueur flavored “Fireball” barbecue sauce. Erica Sloop, Stadium Bar & Grill’s Manager, was present at the event and said that the skirt steak is a regular menu item at the establishment as a dinner item on its own, in the skirt steak salad, and in sliders.
There were a number of other vendors from throughout the state, with a range of food items for sale. JT’s Polish Deli, and Hop Fries, were among them. Hop Fries, Justin Rod a representative of Hop Fries, said as he passed out samples, that the fries were deep fried, with special seasonings and beer. Lobster Rolls from 2 Guys was another favorite at the event. And the First Presbyterian Church was also present with their special coffee drinks they are known for.
Though the full Champion of the Grill contest full list of participants and results are not currently released from the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce the EM Electrical team has announced on their Facebook Page, they were the winners for best chicken, beef, and amateur and griller, as well as the overall Champion of the Grill.
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