Welcome cookers

The rains have come earlier this week making everyone wonder if the possibility of another soggy, muddy year is in store for the cook-off. The contestants are pouring in, the chamber organizers are buzzing around town finishing the last minute details. The goats are ready for the pits. The 30th Annual World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off is ready and waiting, and from the looks at Richards Park things are well underway. Preparations that began as soon as last year’s cook-off ended are now coming to a head. Judges are lined up and ready and last minute reservations and schedule changes are being ironed out. By 8 a.m. Saturday, Richards Park will be filled with smoke and scores of friends and visitors as the 30th Annual Cook-Off goes down in the record books. Police officers will shut down public vehicle access at 3 p.m. Friday after which no vehicles will be allowed inside the park without a purple parking sticker issued by the Chamber of Commerce. Each cooking team is permitted two parking passes and all parking violators will be subject to towing and/or relocation. Highlights of this year will be the traditional welcome dance tonight (Friday) at the show barn. Then on Saturday with games and booths setting up and getting underway by 9 a.m. the crowds are sure to grow in a hurry as they try to beat the heat. The goat pill flip and the infamous egg toss are back again this year and will begin at 10 and 11 a.m. respectively. The public barbecued goat meal will begin serving at 11 a.m. in the show barn. The Brady Kiwanis Club is manning the pits this year and preparing the entire meal. The relatively new Miss Goat Queen contest, sponsored by Appleton Mercantile, will prove to be another big hit this year as area youngsters dress up a goat and take them to center stage to be judged beginning at 3 p.m. With a record number of entries in the arts and crafts division, cook-off attendees will have more than 130 different vendors to peruse throughout the day. A public information booth with answers to any questions will be manned in the center of the park throughout the duration of the cook-off. The booth, sponsored by Iron Horse Grill, will be a hub for information on everything from starting times and locations to ticket prices and lost and found. Athletes looking to race for a cause or simply to run for exercise are encouraged to register for the Goat Gallop 5K. The race will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday near the Brady High School football field on 11th Street. Early registration for $15 per runner ends today (Friday). Registration on race day will be $20. All registered runners will receive a T-shirt and the top three individuals in each age group will be awarded medals. After winners are named Saturday afternoon, the popular street dance on the downtown square will feature country recording artist Leo Stokes opening for Kevin Fowler. The dance begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. Coolers and lawn chairs are welcome, but no glass bottles will be allowed.

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