Marshalltown’s BBQ Championships changes its menu

Falling on a new date with a new organizer, Marshalltown’s 16th Annual BBQ Championships will return to Riverview Park in October.

Marshalltown native Ron Milhous, president of the Iowa BBQ Society, and his wife Dena, will organize the event this year.

The Iowa BBQ Society decided against hosting the contest this year after a loss in funds last year.

“We just took it on ourselves, my wife and I, and we’re going to make some changes so that it does better for the community,” said Ron Milhous.

The event, slated for Oct. 17-19, will include two competitions with 50-55 teams from 15 states competing.

Entertainment will begin Friday night and the first awards ceremony will be held Saturday.

Another competition will get underway Saturday with a winner announced Sunday, Ron Milhous said.

“The advantage of having two competitions is that we’ll get more teams,” Ron said. “That way they’ll come from farther away to do two contests instead of one.”

Shannon Espenscheid, director of the Marshalltown Convention & Visitors Bureau, said having the date set in October has advantages.

“We think it will be a great event,” Espenscheid said. “In June we tend to get a lot of rain. We’ve had our event rained on or rained out. An early fall event I think will be nice.”