In three days, Stillwater County’s own Outlaw BBQ will go sauce-to-sauce, meat-to-meat, rub-to-rub with some of the best teams in the region, looking to defend its 2016 grand champion title at the 15th annual Montana BBQ Cook-Off in Absarokee.
Brothers Ty and Justin Hamilton and their dad, Rick, are coming off a third place overall finish last weekend in Miles City. Montana Outlaw BBQ has two grand champion titles and a reserve champion title (among others) under its belt dating back as far as 2009.
Last year, the Hamiltons rode the grand championship to two of the biggest BBQ stages there are — the American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tenn.
“The Jack” — as it’s called — brought the team national attention when it earned second place, or reserve grand champion, in the Royal open division.
Back on their home turf this Saturday, the Hamiltons will be challenged by 39 other teams from Canada to California to Oklahoma — the most competitors to ever enter the Montana BBQ Cook-Off in Absarokee, said organizer Nick Morrison.
Other local teams include Two Rivers Lodge of Nye and Longboard BBQ of Absarokee.
An officially sanctioned event of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, there is $12,000 prize money at stake. The overall winner of Sunday’s event earns a spot in the World Food Championship, the Kansas City American Royal and the Jack Daniels Invitational draws.
The Montana BBQ Cook-off started in 2003 and serves as the main fundraiser for the Absarokee Area Merchants Association (AAMA). The main goal of the event is to promote the area, not to turn a profit, according to the event website.
•Main Street Closure from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on
Sunday, June 26 and no motor vehicles will be allowed to enter or exit the cook-off area after 9 a.m.
•Public tasting will be from noon until 6 p.m.
•Noon to 2 p.m.: Montana Sun
•1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: 2 GeeZerZ and HannaH
•3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs
•4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. will be the awards
FISHTAIL FAMILY FUN DAY
Also on deck this weekend is Fishtail Family Fun Day on Saturday. The Fishtail Community Council has held the event for about the 21 years as a fundraiser. The action starts early, with the Fun Run getting underway at 7 a.m. A pancake breakfast will be offered from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Beartooth Electric will present “How it works” at the Community Center from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by Tippet Rise with “Fun for All,” face painting and a photo booth from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A climbing wall, bounce house and Montana Zoo animals will also be featured between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., with the parade at 11 a.m. The afternoon will consist of an auction, “Poo Bingo,” the duck race and the Magic City Strings.
COLUMBUS MENTAL HEALTH CENTER POKER RUN
The Mental Health Center’s first annual Poker Run will be a 10K professionally timed event at Itch-Kep-Pe Park in Columbus on Saturday. It is a flat course on a combination of paved and gravel roads that runs alongside the Yellowstone River.
There is an optional component of collecting poker cards at each mile marker along the course. At the end of the race, prizes will be given for the top poker hands. Participants can still sign up to take part.
More than $1,000 in prizes will be given out. All funds raised will stay in the Columbus area and be used to promote awareness of mental health and addiction issues and treatment in Stillwater County.
The Mental Health Center is a non-profit organization. The Stillwater Mining Company and Stillwater Billings Clinic are primary sponsors of the event.
KEYSER CREEK HORSE SHOW
The Keyser Creek Horse Show will be Saturday, June 24, at 9 a.m. at the Keyser Creek Arena on Rapelje Road. It is the second in a three-part series in which youth and adult riders from all around the state compete in English, Western, Trail and Showmanship. Concessions are available and admission is free.