Summer in Kansas City sees lots of outdoor bar-b-que, BBQ, and even bar-B-Q cookoffs. But in Lenexa, where the preferred misspelling is barbeque, the competition is the official Kansas state championship. The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle draws 170 teams of smokers to woo and fatten judges of seven categories: brisket, pork, ribs, sausage, chicken, whole animal and miscellaneous. The "whole animal" category has a high potential shock factor, and "miscellaneous" creates a sense of mystery. What will they barbecue? Pheasant? Spam? Tofurkey? The smoking contraptions themselves are enough to entertain; years past have seen two-story rigs on huge trailers, as well as automobiles transformed into cooking devices. Anyone attempting to find the zaniest of entrants should get a list of team names and seek out those who clearly have inhaled too much smoke. Some of last year's wackos: Mad Cow Angry Beavers, B'oinkin' Brothers, Buddha Magnus Zen BBQ and Carcass Cookin' Crew. Admission to the vegetarian's nightmare is $3 on Friday and $1 on Saturday; kids under twelve get in free. Rock band Boomerz provides even more entertainment, and the kids get a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting and fake tattoos. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday. For more information, call 913-541-8592.-- Sarah Smarsh
The T-Bones are rare indeed.
We may be wrong, but we're pretty sure that the Kansas City T-Bones are among only a handful of athletic teams named for foods (excluding teams registered for the Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle described above). As a certain vegetarian Simpson would say, that's apt ... apt! Ours is a city of meat. Ours is also a city of sports. Our sports teams are named for meat. Perfect. Even locals who claim to have "Royals fever" this year have thoroughly enjoyed themselves at T-Bones games, which is why we're recommending you catch at least one this summer. This week offers home games Thursday through Sunday at 110th Street and State Avenue in KCK. For details, call 913-328-2255.-- Gina Kaufmann