Smoke’N Man barbecuer Scott Knapp organizes the annual Battle of the Bones.

Food, fun and live music

Teams of local and regional barbecuers will compete for a total of $10,000 in cash prizes at Battle of the Bones this weekend, and visitors will be the judges at the annual barbecue competition to be held at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

Visitors will receive judging chips along with tasting tickets to sample each team's recipes. The chefs will vie for the chips with tastes of their freshly cooked shrimp, oysters, sausage, chicken and beef.

"We'll be offering more food this year," says Scott Knapp, coordinator for the event. "We drew so many people that we ran short the first two years we held the competition."

So get your taste buds ready. Battle of the Bones will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24-26, at the fairgrounds, 1 Peninger Road, Medford.

A seafood competition will be held Friday, sponsored by The Wharf Seafood Market and Eatery of Medford. Tastes of shrimp and oyster recipes will be available from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

On Saturday, the sausage competition begins, sponsored by Taylor Sausage of Cave Junction. Then, it's the chicken challenge, sponsored by Foster Farms. Samples of sausage will be offered from noon to 3:30 p.m. and tastes of barbecued chicken will be from 5 to 9 p.m.

"Sunday is all about ribs and brisket," Knapp says. "The chefs will cook more than 6,600 pounds of Painted Hills Beef."

Meals will be available for purchase all three days.

Along with the barbecue competition, the Battle of the Bones will feature a Beer Brawl, sponsored by Donnelly's Sports Pub and Southern Oregon Brewing Co. Patrons can taste samples from micro breweries around the Rogue Valley and vote for the people's choice. Eight tastes and a souvenir glass are available for $8.

Buffalo ribs from Smoke-N-Man Barbecue will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. each day.

Event hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Throughout each day local vendors will be available, along with live music, tethered hot air balloon rides, a pumpkin-carving contest and kids activities. Admission is $12 per day at the gate; $10 at People's Bank of Commerce in Central Point. Admission includes 12 tasting tickets and judging chips. Children ages 12 and younger will be admitted for free. Extra tasting tickets will be available inside the gate. Call 774-8270.

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