Fire at the Foothills sees biggest crowd ever

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

CHELSEA — People were obviously fired up about the return of Chelsea’s annual Fire at the Foothills event, which on Saturday, April 17 saw its largest crowd ever, according to Chelsea City Councilmember and Kiwanis Club member Scott Weygand.

Weygand estimated between 3,000-4,000 attended the barbecue, which is officially sanctioned through the Kansas City BBQ Society. It also serves as one of Chelsea’s largest events and most important fundraisers, benefitting the Chelsea Kiwanis Club and Chelsea Fire and Rescue, which in turn support local children’s charities like Kings Home and a fire safety program, respectively. This year the event netted at least $7,500, but that number has not been finalized.

“I think folks want to get out and do things, and be normal,” Weygand said. “The timing of this year’s event was perfect. The beginning of the pandemic canceled the 2020 event, and this 2021 event being at the tail end of the pandemic, to me, seems to be a good ending to the difficult period we have all just been through.”

Folks from across the Southeast traveled to Chelsea for the weekend barbecue competition. There were KCBS judges from all over, as well as barbecue teams from North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and all across Alabama, Weygand added.

“For the first time ever, we had a high school team enter. They are from North Georgia, and they did really well, placing in the top 10 for Ribs and Pork Butt,” Weygand said, referring to the team Pit Vipers, which were enthusiastically recognized for their efforts during the winners’ announcements.

“The Chelsea Kiwanis Club enjoys serving the community, and they are always looking for folks that want to join the club and help make a difference,” Weygand also said.

Following is a list of winners from the 2021 Fire at the Foothills:

Top winners
-Overall BBQ Winner and Grand Champion: Pig Destroyer
-Reserve Grand Champion: The Real Squeal BBQ

Chicken
-First Place: The Real Squeal BBQ
-Second place: Redline BBQ
-Third place: Alright Guys BBQ

Ribs
-First Place: Hell on Squeals
-Second Place: Team Spirit
-Third Place: Leela Q

Pork Butt
-First Place: Pig Destroyer
-Second Place: The Real Squeal BBQ
-Third Place: Rib Life

Cake cookoff
-First Place: Linda Brasher
-Second Place: A Guy, A Girl & His Meat
-Third Place: Rib Life

Pie cookoff
-First Place: Rib Life
-Second Place: Gina Grace
-Third Place: A Guy, A Girl & His Meat

Kids dessert cookoff
-First Place: Varner Law Firm Kids
-Second Place: Bridges, Brooks & Bryant Fielding
-Third Place: Bridges, Brooks & Bryant Fielding