Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Taste Tuscaloosa with the Great Tailgate BBQ Cookoff

    This weekend, the volunteer organization Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa will be giving back to the community in a new way – a barbecue cook-off.

    Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa is a non-profit organization focused on building homes for those in need through the use of volunteer work and donations from the community to assist in funding. As well as building new neighborhoods, the organization has spent nearly five years restoring homes that were damaged after the April 27th, 2011 tornado.

    “Our mission statement is that we’re seeking to put God’s love into action,” said Ellen Potts, Habitat’s executive director. “Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

    On Saturday, Habitat will bring people together to enjoy the sights, sounds and cooked meats of Tuscaloosa.

    For a “suggested donation” of $10 at the gates, guests will receive tasting tickets, which can be used to sample three meats during the event. Each donation will go towards funding Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer efforts to create homes.

    Currently, ten teams have signed up for the event, with corporate sponsors such as Home Depot and Mercedes-Benz backing each team. Several teams will be bringing Boston butts, while other teams will specialize in meats such as briskets and chicken.

    The organization encouraged those interested in competing to sign up through the event’s website,

    “The entry fee [to cook] we had set to $250 just as a donation to Habitat, but now we have corporate sponsors that have paid that entry fee,” said Laurie Rogers, Habitat’s event coordinator. “As far as teams signing up, because I think we do have one fraternity that’s signed up, it’s something the campus can also get involved in.”

    The judges will grade within three categories, based off the type of meat used in the barbecue: beef, chicken and pork. Judging begins before the event at noon, with the public tasting opening at 12:30, allowing Tuscaloosans to taste-test each meat and vote on the best one for the “People’s Choice” award.

    Despite the cook-off taking place during Tour de Tuscaloosa and the Druid City Art Festival this weekend, Potts and Rogers assured these concurrent events wouldn’t be slowing down the competition. The two said that the Great Tailgate Cook-Off was its own simultaneous event that they hope will encourage those downtown for other events to stop by and enjoy the food.

    “Usually, the Druid City Art Festival and Tour de Tuscaloosa have about 10,000 people who attend downtown in Tuscaloosa,” Potts said. “We’re hoping for even more this year because they’ve made most of downtown an entertainment district where you can go in a bar and take your beer, or whatever, out and go look at the art at Druid City Art Festival and sample the barbecue with us and watch the bike race.”

    Additional information about the event can be found at or on the Great Tailgate BBQ Cook-Off Facebook page.

    The Great Tailgate BBQ Cook-Off will take place in Government Plaza on Saturday. The event will go from 12:30 until the food lasts, with live music happening around the event.

    More to Discover