LAKE PLACID - One of Lake Placid's most popular annual events promises to bring great summertime food and fun while supporting an important cause.
The fifth annual I Love Barbecue Festival will return to the Lake Placid Speedskating Oval July 2-4, featuring live music, celebrity appearances, children's rides and games, and, of course, plenty of tasty grilled meat.
Proceeds from the three-day food fest benefit the Shipman Youth Center of Lake Placid, a not-for-profit community organization providing support to children and youth ages 10-18. Through its first four years, the festival has raised nearly $75,000 for the Shipman center.
"It is our biggest and most significant fundraiser, by far," said Jon Fremante, executive director of the Shipman Youth Center. "The money is spent on supplies, after school sports, art programs, movies, bowling, dinners and more."
Despite a weekend of rainy weather, at least 7,000 people attended last year's ILBBQF, raising more than $15,000 for the youth center.
Approximately 15 to 20 Shipman youth center attendees help with the festival, selling food and soda and working the children's attractions.
"Last year's event brought 35 Kansas City Barbecue Society and four Junior World BBQ Championships teams to Lake Placid," said ILBBQF and ILBJWC director of operations Dmitry Feld, "and we expect to grow again this year."
More than 40 teams are expected to participate in this year's three-day festival competing for cash prizes and the title of New York State Barbecue Champion in four separate categories: chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket.
The $1,000 High Peaks Ford Midnight Grillin' Bash, now an approved New England Barbecue Society competition, kicks off the three-day festival Friday night with food demonstrations by competing chefs and barbeque pit masters.
Among the teams competing is the 2006 and 2009 ILBBQF grand champion, "I Smell Smoke," from Fitzwilliam, N.H.
One of the team's members, Mike Grudzinskas, passed away suddenly last year, and this year's people's choice award for "Best Ribs in the East" will be awarded in his memory following the Buck-a-Rib event 1-3:30 p.m. July 3 where visitors can sample ribs cooked by each team for just $1 apiece.
Saturday, July 3 also marks the second annual I Love Barbecue Junior World Championship, which has expanded this year to include a youth division for ages 12-15.
In addition to great food, the festival also features plenty of entertainment. Zydeco musician C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band return to headline a slate of performers from both near and far.
"I can't wait to come back and perform again," said Chenier. "The people, the food, the Olympic village of Lake Placid and, of course, the hospitality of the ILBBQF organizers make this event very special."
General admission to the festival is $6 for adults, while children 12 and under will be admitted free. For more information, visit the festival Web site at www.ILBBQF.com.
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Photo: CJ Chenier_01.jpg
Zydeco legend CJ Chenier will be among the many live performers at the fifth annual Lake Placid I Love Barbecue Festival next weekend. The event raises thousands for the Thomas Shipman Youth Center each year.
A member of the Lost Nation Smoke Company from Vermont preps several racks of ribs for the Buck-a Rib event at last year's I Love BBQ Festival in Lake Placid.
Photo by Mike Shaw
2009 ILBBQF live performance schedule
Friday, July 2:
4 p.m. - Loud and Stupid, Lake Placid, punk and heavy metal.
5 p.m. - Element, Lake Placid, progressive rock.
7 p.m. - C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
9 p.m. - Stan Oliva, Keene, blues.
Saturday, July 3:
Noon - The Shipman Youth Center All Star Band, Lake Placid, rock.
1 p.m. - Cross Winds
2 p.m. - Roadside Mystic, Keene, blues rock.
3 p.m. - raisinhead, Capital area, jam rock.
4 p.m. - CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
7 p.m. - Larry Stone and the Stoneground Express, Jay, electric guitar blues.
8 p.m. - Heritage
9 p.m. - Professor Chaos, Saranac Lake, punk and heavy metal.
Sunday, July 4:
11 a.m. - Pat Duffy, Potsdam, one-man blues/rock band.
Noon - Split Rock, Lake Placid, classic rock.
1 p.m. - Lowell Bailey, Lake Placid, Winner of the 2008 Lake Placid Idol contest, acoustic guitar, Americana.
2 p.m. - Sven Curth, Lake Placid, electric guitar blues.
3 p.m. - Cloning Cooper, Saranac Lake, rock.
All performance times are subject to change