Helena BBQ Cookoff raises $968 for Miracle League

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The air was thick with smoke the morning of Saturday, July 14, as several teams competed in the annual Helena BBQ Cookoff to highlight Helena Market Days.

Most teams arrived at the Helena Amphitheater the evening of Friday, July 13 and after hours of smoking barbecue, a panel of judges chose the best tasting meat in Helena.

The event helped benefit the Helena Miracle League and those who attended Helena Market Days provided a donation to sample each team’s barbecue.

After the donations were collected, a grand total of $968 was raised for the Helena Miracle League as the funds will help build the 125-foot baseball field that will sit on a plot of land roughly 2.5 acres behind Joe Tucker Park in Helena. This ballpark will feature ADA accessible restrooms, a pavilion area, concession stand and a disability accessible parking lot.

As for the cookoff, two awards were given; the People’s Choice Award and the Judges Competition Award. The People’s Choice Award went to the team that raises the most donations while The Judges Competition Award went to the team with the best tasting barbecue.

With $310 raised, Brother Beard’s Backyard BBQ took home the People’s Choice Award and The Que’s Brother’s took home the Judges Competition Award.

The Que’s Brother’s team consisted of Leo Romanick, Brian Chafin and Michael Bradley. Romanick said they have been cooking together for about six years and it was their third time to win the Judges Competition Award in Helena.

“We used to go to the Sloss Barbecue competition when they had it down there and it was just something we always wanted to try,” Romanick said. “We played around in the driveway with different recipes and rubs until we got one that tasted good and it seems to work.”

After six years, Romanick said he enjoys coming to the Helena BBQ Cookoff because it supports the city where he lives.

“It’s going to a good cause and we love coming out here,” Romanick said. “This is the city I live in so I love supporting the charities for the city and trying to further the Market Days and making it more successful. I just love being out here with my buddies and having a good time. It’s a good opportunity to get the family out too and have a good time.”

Helena Market Days exists as a venue for local farmers and producers to sell directly to residents of Helena and its neighboring cities. Scot Newman is the market manager and can be reached directly at 313-377-9078 or by email at Helenamarketday@gmail.com.

For more information on Helena Market Days including a farmer’s list, weekly scheduled events and links to chef recipes, visit Helenamarketdays.com.

For more photos of the Helena BBQ Cookoff, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.