- Cullman, Alabama

October 1, 2012

Second annual Oktoberfest barbeque challenge Oct 13

By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times

— Attention barbeque lovers. Oct. 13 is a date you’ll want to mark on your calendar. That is the date set for this year’s much anticipated 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Barbeque Challenge. The challenge is on track to become one of the year’s most anticipated events.

For the first time, the Cullman County BAMA Chapter and Cullman Women’s League (CWL) have partnered to make this an even bigger and better event.

Several food vendors will be on hand to lend a variety of foods guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds, and of course what is a barbeque without music, so get ready for some great entertainment. There is even a children’s area so that no one is left out of the fun.

“It is a great honor that the Kansas City Barbeque Society has once again chosen Cullman as a site for a barbeque cook-off,” said Cullman Mayor Max A. Townson in a press release earlier this week. “We are excited to show off our wonderful community.”

 The press release continued to note that both CWL and The Cullman County BAMA Chapter share a common goal of creating a fun and affordable family event while raising money for our community.  

Since its inception the goal of CWL has been to serve Cullman and the surrounding communities by helping to develop a relationship between the group and the citizens in which both could help each other in making Cullman a better place to live, work and play. CWL has helped to reach this goal by serving in worthwhile causes, forging a solid bond with the citizens of Cullman.

Cullman Women’s League has organized annual fundraisers and made important contributions to local charities, including providing scholarships to young women in the area.

Not too long ago, Cullman Women’s League was approached by members of the Cullman County BAMA Chapter to enlist their help as a partner in coordinating and presenting the 2012 Cullman Oktoberfest Barbeque Challenge.

The Cullman County BAMA Chapter received its charter From The University of Alabama National Alumni Association in March 2010. In just a short while they were named an “In-State Alumni Chapter Of The Year” for 2011 by the University's National Alumni Association.

The chapter sees itself as a community liaison, and, as such has been proud to participate in/sponsor/or help to promote projects and or events for at least 10 Cullman County area community agencies, non-profits, organizations and individual causes.

The Barbeque Challenge is part of the Alabama Barbeque Trail, The Governor's Cup competition, and the Alabama Barbeque Association.

“We are also honored to be sanctioned by the nationally respected Kansas City Barbeque Society as host of the Professional and Amateur ‘Cullman Oktoberfest Barbeque Challenge’ for competitive cooks to participate from all across the nation,” said BAMA Chapter President Mike Howell.

According to Howell, last year’s Barbeque Challenge raised over $14,000. “Approximately 66 teams from seven states were represented in the first year,” he said. “The support from the community, city and county officials and the Lions Club was both humbling and truly appreciated.”

The KCBS is the largest society of barbeque fans in the world, boasting over 15,000 members worldwide.

Certified KCBS Judges will be used for both the professional and the backyard divisions, as well as a few selected celebrity judges.

“During this event we will be simultaneously helping to promote one of Cullman's premiere events, our annual Oktoberfest celebration,” Howell explained.

Both groups agreed this partnership was a wonderful way to involve more people, and to have a more effective event.

Always up for a “challenge” the ladies accepted the offer and began to make plans.

Although the ladies had never organized a barbeque competition on such a grand scale as this one, they were looking for a fundraiser, and they sure do know how to throw a party, so they agreed.

The Barbeque Challenge will be held on Oct. 13, at the Cullman County Fairgrounds. Musical entertainment will be Microwave Dave and Chad Bradford and the Dam Band.

“Cullman Women’s League is accepting applications for both professional and amateur teams,” said CWL President Katie Free. “You are not required to be a member of the KCBS to enter. Just bring a group of family or friends and have fun doing something you love to do, barbeque. Who knows, you might just walk away with a share of the $10,000 cash purse.”


The 2012 Oktoberfest Barbeque Challenge is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Cullman County Fairgrounds, 1501 Sportsman Lake Road NW, Cullman 35055

$5 admission (children 5 and under, military and seniors 65+ get in free)

Food and beverage vendors on site (including Williams Barbeque, Backyard Burger, Chick-fil-A, and more)

Huge children's area with free activities for the kids (inflatables, beanbag toss, Space and Rocket Center spacesuit display, coloring contests, etc.)

Live entertainment on two stages

Cooking demonstrations with Kamado Joe's Bob Carter and Joe Hagan


For more information about the Oktoberfest Barbeque Challenge, visit or contact Katie Free at

BAMA Club contact information

Or call 256- 297-1RTR