A dam fun day Nashua!
The best job in Nashua late Saturday afternoon?
That’s easy — serving as a judge at the Best Dam BBQ Challenge. The pay may not have been great, but sometimes there are much better rewards than monetary ones.
But before the judges went to “work,” the barbecuers spent much of Saturday putting their special touches and sauces on everything from ribs to chicken to bacon and also had time to catch up with each other.
“One of the best parts about doing this — besides the food,” said Steve Schmidt of 2 Sauced 2 Pork, “is the camaraderie you find with the other teams. I mean we want to win, but we’re also the kind of people who are going to help another guy out if he needs it.”
Not that the Schmidt family that also included Steve’s wife, Kim, and his son, Corey, needed any help on Saturday as they dang near swept the awards in the fifth annual barbecue that went “big” in 2021. 2 Sauced 2 Pork won first place in chicken and ribs and was named the grand champion of the 12-team event.
The other big winner on this day was the Big 4 Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in the Nashua and Plainfield area, that decided to strike out on its own this year.
During its first three years of existence, the Best Dam BBQ was held during the Big Four Fair, but a year ago, chamber officials decided to hold the event despite the fact that the fair was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of returning to the fair fold, the chamber decided to hold its own event a week after the fair, and in addition to the barbecue, it also signed former American Idol winner Maddie Poppe to perform in concert.
“Twelve is by far the most barbecuers we’ve had, and I think that shows that people like our event, like how we run it,” said Big 4 Chamber volunteer Karmen Mehmen. “We would have liked [concert] ticket sales to be a little higher, but at the same time, I know there are a lot of people excited to have Maddie here.”
— For more on this story, see the Sept. 14 Tribune or Sept. 16 Reporter