Nickle Lake Regional Park hosted the inaugural Souris River Smoke Barbecue Showdown over the Canada Day long weekend. The competition saw competitors from as far away as Monarch, Alberta.

The competition was organized by Grant Stinson and Henry Benning. Benning said this particular competition is classified as a backyard competition.

“We got six teams competing,” Benning explained. “We had that many more that would love to be able to compete, but the date just didn’t work out for them.”

The competition drew the interest of those in the park for the long weekend, undoubtedly lured to the area by the aroma of the smokers and barbecues that were cooking up things like brisket, wings, pulled pork and more.

The grand champion of the competition was Jarret Lees and the team Smoke Show, and the reserve grand champion was the Team Smoke N Sauce, made up of Charles Ries, Diane Christensen and Darcy and Jennifer Golden. Third overall in the competition was Mike Knoll and Wade Martin’s team Garage Beers.

Benning explained that the competitive barbecue and smoking community is a close-knit one, for both those who compete on the Kansas City Barbecue Society Masters circuit and those who compete in backyard competitions like the one this past weekend.

“One of the things that got us attracted to it is just the support and the way people have helped us as we have developed in our competition barbecue trials,” Benning added.