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Annual fundraiser offers tasty barbecue dishes this weekend

Friends Kyle Niekamp, left, and Brian Schmidt, both of Wardsville, helped raise money for the Special Learning Center by enjoying ribs during the 2010 Buck-A-Bone fundraiser. This year’s event opens the 5th Annual Capital City Cook-Off on Friday at the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fairgrounds.

Friends Kyle Niekamp, left, and Brian Schmidt, both of Wardsville, helped raise money for the Special Learning Center by enjoying ribs during the 2010 Buck-A-Bone fundraiser. This year’s event opens the 5th Annual Capital City Cook-Off on Friday at the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fairgrounds. Photo by News Tribune.

Barbecue aficionados unite Friday and Saturday at the 5th Annual Capital City Cook-Off at the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fairgrounds.

Friday night festivities begin with Buck-A-Bone, the annual all-you-can-eat rib-fest benefiting the Special Learning Center Foundation.

For those observing Lent, shrimp gumbo will be served by Shad Kirton, the TLC cable network’s BBQ Pitmaster 2010 winner.

Ribs and gumbo are available from 5 p.m.-8 p.m., or until they run out.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or at the Special Learning Center, 1115 Fairgrounds Road; Scruggs Lumber, 1707 Christy Dr.; Jefferson Bank (any location); Mid-America Wireless; Zesto South, 1730 Jefferson St.; or Providence Bank (any location).

On Saturday, championship barbecue winners and backyard cooks will compete in separate events to showcase their grilling skills.

The Kansas City Barbecue Society will be on hand to judge chicken, ribs, pork and brisket for the state championship.

Backyard division participants will be judged for their chicken and ribs.

For a $5 entry fee, the public is welcome to sample more than 50 pulled pork recipes to choose the People’s Choice Pulled Pork winner. Zesto South will sell ribs and pulled pork from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and a beer garden will be open Friday and Saturday. In between bites of barbecue on Saturday, enjoy the 3rd Annual Capital City Cook-Off Bluegrass Festival, featuring local favorites.

Rain or shine, Summit Grass, The Martin Family, and Red Bridge will serenade the crowds with traditional and contemporary bluegrass sounds.

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