The charming small town of Chelsea is no stranger to delicious BBQ. The renowned Smokehouse 52 has served up tasty brisket, ribs, pulled pork and more since 2012. The Purple Rose Theatre throws a Backyard BBQ party every year as a fundraiser for its important theatrical work. And, since 2014, amateur and professional chefs have flocked to Chelsea to submit their BBQ recipes at the Smoke & Ale Fall Festival BBQ Cook-off Contest.
Festival organizers expect over 2,000 people to gather in Chelsea this year for Smoke & Ale, October 13 & 14 - one of the area’s most upbeat and unique fall festivals. In 2017, for the first time ever, the Smoke & Ale BBQ Contest is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society as a Master Series contest. This is big news! The KCBS is the largest society of barbecue enthusiasts in the world, and sanctions worthy BBQ and grilling competitions across the United States. The KCBS-judged winners of the Smoke & Ale BBQ Contest will have the opportunity to move on to more elite levels in BBQ competition. If you’d like to enter the BBQ contest, visit the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce’s website for rules and an application! This year, over $4,000 will be awarded to winners.
Folks who have traveled for this meaty event in the past will relish the return of the Beer Festival portion of the weekend. And, Sandhill Cranes Vineyards will be there, serving locally-sourced wine.
BBQ-lovers will rock out to the sounds of several great bands at the festival. There will be performances on Friday night (the earliest start to the festival since its inception) as well throughout the day on Saturday. Expect to hear Mo’ Easy, The Alligators, Root Doctor, Shelter Dogs, and other bands throughout the weekend.
Another returning attraction at this year’s Smoke & Ale Fall Festival is the Cornhole Classic, a tournament version of the classic lawn game. A cash prize is awarded to the top team - but everyone, including spectators, have a great time with the Cornhole Classic.