MOUNT VERNON — Thousands of barbecue lovers gathered Saturday at the third annual Monster BBQ Build Off.
Sixteen teams of barbecue cooks showed off their best stuff, competing for over $4,000 in prizes, bragging rights for the best ribs and the construction of unique barbecue cookers.
Johnny Ellis of Ellis Brothers Concrete created the competition because of his love of barbecue, and his career as a fabricator. The competition combines the two, and raises thousands of dollars for charity.
This year, the proceeds will go to Relay for Life of Knox County to support the American Cancer Society. Many competitors and the event volunteers donned shirts and other clothes in the signature pink of breast cancer awareness.
The cause was close to the hearts of some of the competitors this year.
A team of family members competed to honor the memory of Peggy Simpson Willey of Mount Vernon, who passed away from breast cancer.
Peggy’s son, Glen Willey of Fredericktown, decided to build a cooker and enter the competition to honor his mom. His uncle, Ron Simpson, Peggy’s brother, joined him in the barbecuing.
Past winner for the design of their cooker, the Custom Cutters team of Mount Vernon this year constructed a cooker to look like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo cartoons. The cooking team dressed as the cartoon characters.
“We do a lot of business with Ellis Brothers, and it’s a great benefit and a great chance for local businesses to get their names out there for a great cause,” explained Melissa Street of Custom Cutters.