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Blues, Bags & BBQ Rule the Day

August 7, 2012

4th Annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-OffGlen Ellyn’s Backyard BBQ Cook-Off returns for a fourth year of food, fun and festivity in a relaxed, downhome atmosphere.  Glen Ellyn’s 4th Annual Backyard BBQ Cook-Off Competition takes place Saturday, September 8th in the Glenwood Avenue lot in downtown Glen Ellyn.  The event is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and there is no cost to attend.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs, relax, and hang out for the afternoon. 

“What started in 2009 as a small, block-party-like BBQ contest for a bunch of amateurs with a love of BBQ and delusions of grandeur has grown to a full-blown event in downtown Glen Ellyn,” says Bob Solak, Bags Tournament Coordinator for the 2012 BBQ. 

Both amateur and seasoned barbecuers are taking their backyard talents to downtown Glen Ellyn in hopes of winning bragging rights.  Forty six teams will be competing in this year’s BBQ competition.  Judging is from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Competition categories are Best Ribs, Best Dish, and – new this year – People’s Choice Award for Best Sauce.

Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off

Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off

While grilled and smoked meats will take the spotlight, there is much more to the event than just BBQ.  Food vendors include Smokin’ Wills, Brand BBQ Market, Tap House Grill, and Dippin’ Dots.

Tom Koprowski, a Glen Ellyn resident and barbecue enthusiast and co-founder of the BBQ who goes by the nickname “Pig Daddy,” adds, “This year’s music lineup is fantastic.  We’ve got Amy Kelly with the Bill Ande Band returning, along with Buzz Kilman and the Blues Rocket Scientists and Cadillac Dave and His Chicago Red Hots also performing.  It’s going to be great!”

Another competition takes place at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off: the Bags Tournament.  In its second year, the Bags Tournament welcomes two-person teams for a double elimination format competition. The Tournament begins at 11:45 a.m. and ends with the final four at approximately 4:00 p.m.  The 1st Place team wins a trophy and a set of Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ cornhole boards.  The 2nd place team will receive a trophy.  Winners will be announced on the main stage along with the BBQ competition winners.  The entry donation is $30 per team minimum (more is always appreciated!), and registration will close after 32 entries are received.

The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off Planning Committee

The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off Planning Committee

“Everything that we do here funds and supports Bridge Communities’ mission, which is transforming the lives of homeless families in DuPage County by partnering with talented, resourceful individuals and groups in our community,” says Koprowski.

To enter the either the barbecue or bags competitions, participants must submit a form and a fee.  Applications for the contests and more information can be found at

Sponsors include Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust, Advanced Healthcare Associates, 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio, Pirate 50 Trophies, Glancer Magazine, Stubbs, Bryall YMCA, Abbey Resort, House of Graphics, 360 Digital, Professional Paving and Concrete Company, Inc. and Euclid Beverage.

Greg Bane, member of the BBQ planning committee, says, “After participating for the first time last year, WDCB is so happy with our event that Marketing Director Ken Scott indicates WDCB will double its support from last year!”

Almost 80 volunteers are needed throughout the day; if you’re interested, please sign up at

The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ is an unofficial community gathering run by neighborhood volunteers and is not affiliated with any organization other than its sponsors and not-for-profit beneficiary, Bridge Communities.  Entrants and guests participate at their own risk. Questions? Email

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