Community

Fidalgo pig roast gets competitive this year

The best barbecue cooks on Whidbey Island will find out who prepares the best pork on Whidbey Island. From the left are Ron Apgar of Paint Your World, Maria McGee of Lotus Tea Bar and Studio, Tim Ryan of the BBQ Joint, LauraJean Krueger of J.D.s BBQ, Kimo of Kimo’s Island BBQ, Steve Despopoulos of Oak Harbor Tavern, Roger Anglum of Smoke Tree BBQ, Gene Watson of Whole “E” Cow BBQ Company and Fred and Deandre Bennett of Shonuff foods. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
The best barbecue cooks on Whidbey Island will find out who prepares the best pork on Whidbey Island. From the left are Ron Apgar of Paint Your World, Maria McGee of Lotus Tea Bar and Studio, Tim Ryan of the BBQ Joint, LauraJean Krueger of J.D.s BBQ, Kimo of Kimo’s Island BBQ, Steve Despopoulos of Oak Harbor Tavern, Roger Anglum of Smoke Tree BBQ, Gene Watson of Whole “E” Cow BBQ Company and Fred and Deandre Bennett of Shonuff foods.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

This weekend 10 of the best grillers and smokers on Whidbey Island will compete to see who bangs out the best barbecue.

The competition is sure to be a highlight of the third annual Fidalgo Avenue Block Party and Free Pig Roast taking place Sunday, Aug. 8, from noon to 6 p.m. on Fidalgo Avenue located off Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor.

“It’s something a bit different and they’re going to be cooking all night long,” said Scott Fraser, owner of Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway, who organizes the event each year. The 10 cooks will start preparing the evening before the party so their pork can be ready in time to give out free samples to the hungry populace beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Fraser said he has six judges lined up, ranging from industry professionals to community leaders, to evaluate each entry.

The competitors for the inaugural contest are Smoke Tree BBQ, Whole “E” Cow BBQ, J.D.’s BBQ, Columbia Beach BBQ, Kimos Island BBQ, the BBQ Joint, Shonuff Foods, Lancelots and the Oak Harbor Tavern.

Fraser said two trophies will be awarded Sunday — judges’ choice and people’s choice.

He started the Fidalgo Avenue Block Party three years ago as a thank you to the community for another successful year in business. Each year he offers a free barbecue lunch complete with live music and children’s activities.

“We’re going to make it a little bigger and better this year,” Fraser said. A team of volunteers will be busy in the days leading up to the party preparing a picnic lunch that includes 1,300 pounds of pork.

In addition, two bands — the Dan Richards Band and the Halyards — are scheduled to perform on the stage located in the Harborside Village parking lot.

New this year is Ron Stubbs, a rock-and-roll hypnotist who will take the stage between band performances.

Fraser thanked the support of Island Thrift, Whidbey Island Bank, New Leaf, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, P and L Construction, Albertsons and Saar’s Market Place for their support to make the block party a reality.

Even though the food and entertainment are free, donations are gladly accepted with proceeds distributed to local charities.

The North Whidbey Help House will receive half of the money raised. The remainder will be shared among Youth Dynamics, Make a Wish Foundation and Safety Net of Whidbey, which helps needy families cover their medical bills.

Last year, the Fidalgo Avenue Block Party raised $10,000.

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