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The WildRiver BBQ and CruiseIn opens Saturday in Molalla at Clark Park.

by: WILDRIVER BBQ - The barbecue event is held in a shady Oak Grove near the rodeo grounds in Molalla.Sample succulent low-and-slow-style barbecue from award-winning pit masters at Molalla’s Wild River BBQ CookOff and CruiseIn.

For the past nine years, the cook-off has provided a unique barbecue competition with food, entertainment and a beer and wine tent at Molalla’s Clark Park. But starting this year, the event offers the addition of a classic car show to be held in the open field at Clark Park, right next to the barbecue taking place in the shady oak grove.

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Last year's watermelon eating champion shows off his trophy to his little brother. The kids watermelon eating contest starts at 3 p.m.. Saturday.The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, July 19, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 20, at Clark Park, 815 Shirley Street next to the rodeo grounds. A watermelon eating contest for kids will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the event is free. Purchase scrip at the entry booth to sample prize-winning barbecue, food and beverages. A new addition this year will be Hawaiian Shaved Ice and sno cones to help cool people off.

This will be the 10th Annual Oregon State Championship barbecue competition. There will be $5,500 in prize money, as well as trophies and ribbons, including the Mayor’s Spirit Award for best team spirit, booth decorations and the “People’s Choice Award for Best Sample” will be awarded. The Grand Champion will vie for the opportunity to compete in national competitions in Lynchburg, Tenn. or Kansas City, Mo..

by: WILDRIVER BBQ - Barbecue judges check out a display by a competing chef in last year's cook-off .“Prize money of $5,500 is the median at national events, and it’s a lot more than we had available last year,” said John Atkins, Molalla River Alliance president. “So we are confident this will be an attraction for contestants.”

In the Wild River BBQ CookOff, top barbecue cooks from around the Pacific Northwest will compete for prestige and prize money in the by: WILDRIVER BBQ - Sliced barbecued steak woas one of the offerings in the BBQ cook-off last year.traditional categories of ribs, brisket, pork and chicken. The annual event is Oregon’s oldest cook-off sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association (PNWBA).

Two of the event organizers, John Atkins and Fran Taylor, said the event has drawn more support from businesses and community members this year than ever before.

“We are blown away by the community support,” Atkins said. “Nearly every business has donated a prize or is helping sponsor the event. We have more sponsors than ever before. It’s great to get big donations, but the small donations mean so much because they show support from the community.”

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