Shelby County’s Best BBQ Cook-Off set for April 5

By LINDA LONG/For the Reporter

The third annual Shelby County’s Best BBQ Cook-Off will be held April 5 in downtown Columbiana. The event benefits the Shelby County Arts Council and the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce.

Event organizers claim the finished products are good enough to “make you want to slap your Mama.” Sandra Annonio, marketing director for the Shelby County Arts Council, won’t swear any mamas have actually ever been slapped in the making of this BBQ, but she doesn’t rule it out either.

“We had over 400 people here last year,” she said, “and it was raining so we’re really looking for a good turnout. We’re signing up teams now who can come forward and be crowned Shelby County’s Best BBQ. The more teams we are able to line up the better the competition will be and the better the tasting for the rest of us.”

Trophies are awarded for Best Overall Ribs and Sauce; Best Ribs (first, second and third place); Best Sauce (first, second and third place); Chef’s Specialty (up to three entries per team); and People’s Choice Award. The awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Annonio said last year’s chef’s specialty items included everything from collard greens to pork tacos to cheese cake.

“Everyone is welcome,” Annonio said. “This is a great opportunity to support two important community organizations, and it makes for a fun day in downtown Columbiana

Judging for this year’s event is set for 3:30 p.m. and a tasting for the public from 4-7 p.m. Tasting tickets are $10 with kids 10 and under free with a paid adult. Tickets can be purchased online at and are also available on the day of the event on site. The event will also include music, an artist market and classic car exhibit.

Contact either the Shelby County Arts Council at 669-0044 or the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce at 669-9075 to register your team. This year’s event is sponsored by Deloach, Barber & Caspers, P.C. and the Shelby County Reporter.