Chelsea residents sample barbecue during annual Fire at the Foothills

Published 8:37 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – Chelsea residents had the chance to sample free barbecue to their hearts desire as 15 teams competed against one another during the annual Fire at the Foothills barbecue competition.

The Kiwanis Club of Chelsea hosted its annual Fire at the Foothills cook off on Saturday, April 6 from 1-4 p.m. at the Chelsea Community Center.

Each year, the Chelsea Kiwanis invite barbecue teams to come and compete in an officially sanctioned competition by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Over the course of the cookout, locals were able to come in for free and try samples and tip the team they think were the best for the People’s Choice Award. Funds raised during the event go toward the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea which supports children’s programs.

“As the local Kiwanis club, we try to raise money so we can help the kids of the community,” said Chuck Wallis, president of the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea.

The following teams competed in this year’s edition of Fire at the Foothills:

– Smoke Bee’s

– Norala BBQ team

– Smokin Goose BBQ

– Jury’s Out

– The Smoke Show

– Rise N Swine

– Real Squeel BBQ

– Mad Rocket Barbecue

– Pork Life

– Dixie Pigs & Chick’s

– The Smokin’ Huskies

– Tus-Que-Loosa BBQ

– Brothers Q BBQ Supply

– Leela Q

– 2 Swine Crew

In addition to the 15 teams competing in the cook off, a 16th team was present that attends every year out of good will for the community.

“We’re actually here just to serve the people of Chelsea,” said James Daniels, pastor of Chelsea Presbyterian Church who forms a team each year to serve attendees at the event. “We’re not in (the) competition but people say we should be in the competition.”

With a tent placed near the front of the Fire at the Foothills event, members of the church’s Holy Smokes Barbecue team wore matching shirts and delivered delicious smoked brisket to those passing by.

“We want to be known as a hospitable church,” Daniels said. “We’d like to be known as people serving without expectations. We want to be contributors to our community instead of just being consumers. We want to let Chelsea know that we’re here for them for whatever they may need.”

Fire at the Foothills has been a tradition of the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea since 2010 and initially began as a chili cook off before slowly transitioning into the barbecue competition it is now. During the cook off, the 15 teams submitted barbecue for multiple categories that were then judged by 21 judges from the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

During the competition, The Smoke Show took home the People’s Choice Award after raising the highest amount in tips from passersby.

The following teams took home trophies and cash prizes for winning the following categories in the competition:


  • First place – Jury’s Out
  • Second place – Norala BBQ team
  • Third place – Smoke Bee’s


  • First place – Leela Q
  • Second place – Mad Rocket Barbecue
  • Third place – Jury’s Out


  • First place – Real Squeel BBQ
  • Second place – Leela Q
  • Third place – Norala BBQ team

Reserve grand champion

  • Norala BBQ team

Grand champion:

  • Jury’s Out