CRESTVIEW — It was a breezy but sunny day Saturday, near-perfect weather for sampling some of the area’s best barbeque.
The 14th annual Blackwater, Bands and BBQ Cookoff came and went March 24 at Old Spanish Trail Park. The wind threatened to take off with some of the many canopies lining the park, but it was an otherwise beautiful Spring day in Crestview.
Five local barbeque businesses competed for the title of Grand Champion, with Bruce Nidy’s Ranch House Kitchen of Florala, Alabama taking home the honor. Nidy also took first place in the pulled pork, chicken and brisket categories, nearly making a clean sweep.
The only category Nidy didn’t win was ribs. That honor went to Karl Wiggins of Po Wiggs BBQ. The Fort Walton Beach eatery also won the title of Reserve Champion. Mark Thompson of Pigstickers, a former Crestview favorite, took home the People’s Choice award, showing it’s still popular in town more than three years after officially closing its doors.
Three bands played under the large pavilion in the park, which also housed a small beer garden area for the first time at Triple B. Local bands New Earth Army, Schatzi and the String Boffin, and Still Standing entertained patrons taking a break from the sun under the shade of the pavilion.
There was plenty of kid-friendly fun to be had as well. Crestview Fire Department brought an inflatable fire safety house, and kids lined up to get a tour of one of their fire trucks and operate a real fire hose.
Crestview Area Youth Association was also on hand with a football toss and dunk tank. Many other vendors offered similar games, demonstrations and small prizes.