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Smoke on the Water Barbecue Championship, Hot Springs, AK, Sept. 18-19, 2009
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Smoke on the Water Barbecue and Bombers Returns
To Hot Springs With World-Class Competition,
Family Entertainment and Air Show

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas – The Smoke on the Water Barbecue and Music Festival, one of the largest barbecue competitions in the world, will bring championship grillers to Hot Springs for the second year in a row on September 18-19 at the Hot Springs National Airport.

With $20,000 in prize money, Smoke on the Water will be awarding a Champion’s Purse of $3,500 as well as awards for 14 places in all four categories (chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket) and to the top five overall cook teams. In addition, there will be a “best sauce” contest and Ribfest featuring several world champion teams selling their famous ribs and mouth watering barbecue to the public.

“This marks Smoke on the Water’s ninth year and it just keeps getting bigger and better,” said Ron Cates, the creator and organizer of the Festival. “We’re extremely proud of our reputation as one of the world’s largest barbecue competitions, which is bolstered by the fact that we’ve attracted grillers from nearly every state and parts of Canada. Smoke on the Water has gone international!”

Carolyn Wells, executive director of the Kansas City Barbecue Society, said Smoke on the Water’s prize money has put it in the top ranks of the 223 contests certified by the KCBS. “Ron Cates’ contests always offer top-shelf competition, drawing some of the best barbecue cooks we’ve seen.” Sponsors for this year’s even include KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce and Kingsford Charcoal. Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the Festival is a perfect fit for Hot Springs’ renown as a resort city. “It has everything we celebrate in Hot Springs – good food, good fun, excitement and family-oriented attractions. We’re proud to host Smoke on the Water for the second time and look forward to many more years of the Festival. You just can’t beat the scent of championship barbecue in the air.”

While the primary focus is barbecue, Smoke on the Water more than lives to up the “Festival” in its name by offering family-oriented music and events including a Kid’s Funzone. This year, the music lineup includes Grammy and CMA winner Joe Diffie, who has 12 No. 1 hits, 20 hits in the Top 10 and four gold and platinum albums. Other musical acts are Crisis, Mr. Happy and Hot Springs’ own Crash Meadows.

Befitting the Festival’s setting at Hot Springs National Airport, the Commemorative Air Force will offer a display of some of the most famous aircraft of World War II, including the C-47/R4D Bomber, the Vultee BT-13 and the L-5 Sentinel. The R4D, a submarine patrol aircraft, is literally a traveling museum and set up so visitors can see what the aircraft did during the war. Rides will also be available.

In addition, there will be an Antique Motorcycle Show and Classic Car Show, which drew more than 200 of Arkansas’ finest
vehicles last year, featuring classics, street rods, imports and mini-trucks.

“It’s all part of what makes this such a great Festival,” Cates said. “From barbecue fans to music lovers to aircraft admirers
to car enthusiasts, Smoke on the Water has it all, and more.”

The event is open to the public Friday at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Admission is free. More information is available at

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