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Kanab, Utah's Weekly Newspaper, Serving Kane County, Utah & the Arizona Strip

Southern Utah News Front Page: August 13, 2020

Southern Utah News Front Page Photo

Welcome y''''all to Western Legends

Forty five grilling teams will be in Kanab this weekend to show off their skills while trying to win big money at the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s competition at Western Legends Heritage and Music Festival.

 

By Dixie Brunner

We are happy you came to celebrate the place we call home! Festivities, food and fun will abound! Enjoy this area’s extraordinary beauty and cherish its history, both in western living and in its movie history. Western lifestyle and traditions are very much alive still, and we want to share them with you. 

There will be a vendor fair, rodeo, KCBS barbecue competition, Country Battle USA and a free Chris Petersen Concert. 

Western Legends is about feeling good and connected to a different place in time. Attendees should note there are many ranchers still here. They are the backbone of what is accomplished in this rural area.

This year’s Western Legends honorees are Que Johnson, Jack Mognett, Marv Button and Nolan Button. Their bios are on pages B1, B2 and B3.

The event will take place primarily on north Main Street, where Country Battle USA, the country band competition, will take place along with the street fair and Kansas City Barbecue Society grilling contest.

Thanks for coming, and we are thrilled you’re here to enjoy this beautiful place!

Kanab will host 45 teams this year for the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s (KCBS) barbecue competition during Western Legends on August 14 and 15. This is more than double the number of teams that competed in 2019! 

Western Legends Roundup added the KCBS competition to its event line-up in 2017 as part of the strategy to diversify the event, which is now called Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival. KCBS is the largest competitive barbecue organization in the world, and event organizers had high hopes that it would gain traction and become a major element because of the clout of the organization. This year it will pay off. 

While Kanab has taken a big hit on tourism this year due to COVID-19, it appears that COVID-19 has also been a big factor in the Kanab KCBS event growing rapidly this year. Unfortunately, many KCBS competitions were cancelled earlier in the year due to the pandemic and a lot of teams haven’t been able to do what they live to do – cook barbecue for prize money.

“These teams are so excited to come to Kanab and compete for the $11,000 in prize money,” said MaryBeth Kuntz, the volunteer KCBS Competition Coordinator for Kane County. “My husband, Jim, and I are passionate about this event and it’s great to see it be such a success.” 

“We truly appreciate the hard work and passion of MaryBeth and Jim. This event wouldn’t be what it is without them. The county is grateful for their contribution to Western Legends,” said Camille Johnson Taylor, Director of Tourism for Kane County. “They have worked wonderfully with our County Event Coordinator, Lannell Dove, to implement all the rigorous COVID-19 requirements to host an event.” 

The KCBS Barbecue Competition will be on the north end of Main Street, utilizing the elementary school property during Western Legends. On Saturday, guests are invited to buy a plate with samples of meat for $5 each from 2-3 p.m., and then vote for their favorite team in the “People’s Choice Award.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Visitor Center or at the Information Booth on Main Street during the event. Winners from the People’s Choice Award will be announced at the competition at 4:30 p.m. 

The proceeds from the food purchases will be donated to the Kanab Elementary School teacher’s supply fund. “We really appreciate Mr. Trimble and the elementary school staff working with us to provide a location for our competition. We are thrilled to be able to give back to the teacher’s school supply fund,” said Kuntz.

The barbecue competition is a family-friendly event and an experience for passionate barbecue enthusiasts of all ages. Teams must prepare entries in the following categories: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. Certified KCBS judges will evaluate the barbecue in three different criteria: taste, appearance and texture.

In addition to the cash prizes, this is a Master Series qualifying event for the participants to go on to the prestigious American Royale and the Jack Daniels World Championships. 

For more information on the KCBS barbecue competition or the Festival, go to KanabWesternLegends.com.


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