The third annual Smokin' In The Mangroves BBQ competition is returning to Santini Marina Plaza as a fundraiser on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year's emphasis will be ribs and chicken and helping a young girl and her family financially with medical bills.
The competition pits professional and local backyard barbeque teams cooking on site and competing for cash prizes, trophies and the distinction of having the best ribs in Southwest Florida.
Chefs wills be serving all things barbecue from chicken to pulled pork to brisket with all the trimmings all day long. Any and all BBQ cookers (backyard and pro) are welcome to join the competition. For applications, call Bonnie Roberts at 443-8810.
Mike Rohr of Pig-N-It BBQ ran away with the People’s Choice Award in the 2012 event.
Smokin’ In The Mangroves will benefit the Wheeler family by helping with their medical bills for daughter Leeanne.
Celebrity judges will be on hand to determine the top three rib and chicken winners in the amateur and pro divisions. A People's Choice award will be presented at 2:30 p.m., along with the prizes and trophies for best ribs and chicken.
The event will also host more than 40 participating arts and crafts vendors as well as the Santini Fresh Market and live music.
Smokin' In The Mangroves will also work as a fundraiser for a Beach Elementary student who has a medical condition.
"The beneficiary of this event is Miss Lee Ann Wheeler and her family. She has contracted a virus that has invaded her brain. She is in Tampa Children's Hospital and has gone through several surgeries and there are more to come," said Roberts. "She may be able to come home in a couple of weeks, but her working parents will have Lee Ann as a full time job at home during her rehabilitation."
Roberts announced the People's Choice Award will be $1 per vote and all proceeds will go to a Wells Fargo Bank account set up for the Wheeler family. Come and help the Wheelers with your vote.
For more information on Smokin' In The Mangroves, call Bonnie at 443-8810.