Cue the 'Cue: The Gardens Hosts Pit Masters

If you've made the rounds of all the local barbecue joints and decided you'd rather eat dirt than one more rack of dry, smokeless ribs, desiccated chicken or tough, taste-free brisket, well, for two days at least, you're in luck. 

No, it's not a dirt cook-off. It's Grillin' in the Gardens, a two-day celebration of fine barbecue that goes off Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, at Mirasol Park in Palm Beach Gardens. Some 34 teams of 'cue masters from Florida and all over the Southeast will be there, trying to win a total of $12,000 in prize money in a competition sanctioned by the Florida Bar-B-Que Association

Although a panel of 42 judges will decide the winners in various categories, with the grand champion going on to compete in the Florida State BBQ Cook-Off, you can make up your own mind by sampling the teams' ribs, chicken, pork and brisket, done in styles ranging from Carolina to Kansas City. 

There will be live music from Burnt Biscuit, games and a water slide for the kids, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Palm Beach Gardens. And if you're wondering, Are any of our local barbecue joints participating in the competition? The answer is no. Why? Uh, good question. 

Anyway, hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, Clean Plate Charlie's favorite word these days.

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