2nd Annual Barbecue Challenge Provides Flavor For Bangor

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Great Maine Barbecue Challenge wrapped up today at Bass Park in Bangor.

Barbecue chefs from all over the country vied for a winning trophy.

"The food is really good. There are a ton of vendors. The music is good, so everyone is just hanging out with their families and having a great time, eating good food, and supporting a great cause."

Hundreds of barbecue enthusiasts packed Bass Park in Bangor over the weekend for the 2nd Annual Great Maine Barbecue Challenge.

30 teams came together to compete for one pretty big, but sweet prize.

"Teams are competing for a $20,000 grand prize and so there were two sanctioned competitions. Saturday's was sanctioned by the Northeast Barbecue Society. Todays' competition was sanction by the Kansas City Barbecue Society."

Vendors from all around the country dish out everything from chicken to pork ribs, to brisket.

While others spice things up with a few Maine flavors.

"We're very big on using the "Get Real, Get Maine" program and have all the stickers that it's local and Maine made."

Denise Murchison is owner of Silverton Foods in Cannan.

Her specialty sauces have made appearances at barbecue festivals all over the country, but the Great Maine Barbecue Challenge allows her to find some local inspiration.

"I really wanted to see what other people are doing with barbecue and get my sauces in the hands of some really experienced barbecue people , and so far the response has been really good."

So good in fact that she can't keep some of the sauces on the shelf.

"Apple Rum is by far my best seller. It won a Barbecue Association Award last year and it's one that people really really go wow."

While some come for the food, others dive into the music.

Jake Irish is lead guitarist for Between Dead Stations... one of Maine's most popular blues bands.

They play at barbeque events all over New England, and for Irish, he likes to stick to what he knows.

"Oh, strapping on my guitar and dumping out my soul."