What started as a hobby for Mankato Cookout organizer, Jeremy Prange, quickly turned into a passion. “My first attempt at BBQ was turkey in my backyard on my daughter’s first birthday,” he explained. “From there I entered what became the current Mankato Cookout, it was in the Buster’s parking lot back then. I won second place in a field of thirty five. I was hooked!”
“$10 gets you all-you-can-eat chicken and pulled pork and two rib tickets”
For the past few years, Prange has been the organizer of the event, now held at Land of Memories Park. The eighth annual Cookout is open to the public from 11 am to 5 pm this Saturday and Sunday.
The event is a Kansas City Barbecue Society competition drawing some of the best pit masters in the country! “We’ve got folks coming from Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota,” Prange said. “It’s also open to local amateurs.”
Barbecue is rapidly gaining popularity north of Kansas City. “We’ve got guys from Minnesota and Iowa who are winning national awards,” Prange said.
You won’t have to break piggy to get a taste. “$10 gets you all-you-can-eat chicken and pulled pork and two rib tickets. If you want more ribs it’s $2 a ticket. If you don’t want all-you-can-eat, just get individual $2 tickets to sample the pulled pork, chicken, and ribs,” Prange explained.
“There’ll be bouncy houses and the National Guard will be setting up their climbing wall”
The Cookout will be fun for the whole family. “There’ll be bouncy houses and the National Guard will be setting up their climbing wall.”