Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off’s key ingredients were formulated by a group of Glen Ellyn residents (a.k.a. Bar-B-Crew) consisting of one part friendly trash-talk about who made the best ribs and other grilled dishes, mixed in with a few handfuls of ideas as how best to generate foot traffic into Glen Ellyn's charming and historic downtown commercial district, along with a couple of pounds of fun and community spirit. The resulting recipe has quickly gained momentum within Glen Ellyn and beyond.
Our inaugural cook-off was held Saturday, October 10th, 2009 as an enhanced block-party on the 700 block of Willis St., whereby a total of 18 BBQ teams competed for first and second place trophies in two categories. By our second year, we grew to a total of 30 BBQ teams competing amongst hundreds of spectators throughout the day. Due to the event's popularity, in September 2011, we relocated our event from our town’s “backyard” in our residential neighborhood to Glen Ellyn’s Downtown District or “front yard”. This change allowed us to successfully host over one thousand spectators, 40 BBQ teams, three blues bands, a bags tournament, food and beer sales. We expect continued growth this year and into future years!
Glen Ellyn’s Backyard BBQ Cook-Off serves as a great launch pad for “local” and “rookie" teams to cook in a fantastic learning environment for honing experience and skills. It’s also a great place for “seasoned” teams to try out new recipes and techniques. We feel that besides settling who makes the best barbeque, the grilling of food represents a great American, traditional past-time and provides a fun way for families to socialize outdoors and hang out with friends and neighbors, hence the reason our BBQ Cook-Off is quickly becoming one of Glen Ellyn’s most favorite annual traditions.
Glen Ellyn is passionate about building community spirit within the town and inviting others from outside its boundaries to enjoy its unique charms and traditions, which include hospitality and old fashioned family fun. Another is the embracing of some of the finer American traditions such as: the 4th of July - featuring the Cardboard Boat Regatta, Main St. Parade, and Lake Ellyn fireworks; the JazzFest which turns Main St. into an avant-garde expression of the soul and American culture; or, the Festival of the Arts at Lake Ellyn which is a celebration of sight and sound. What better way to build on all this than through BBQ where folks can sink their teeth into and smell and taste some of America’s best cooking by bringing the grills out of the backyard for a day to have everyone gather ‘round them in the front yard of our town to socialize, listen to music, eat, drink, cook and compete while raising money for a good cause.
“For an event just one year removed from its inaugural showing, a neighborhood barbecue in Glen Ellyn has created some pretty heavy buzz.” – Daily Herald Sept 17, 2010.
As in years past, we have arranged to donate the net proceeds the event raises to the Bridge Communities, Inc. of Glen Ellyn, a nonprofit, grass roots organization committed to transforming the lives of homeless families.
Whether an active participant or newcomer in the Glen Ellyn or the BBQ community, if you are looking for a way to engage these great communities, this event presents an awesome opportunity to do so. We hope you want to become a part of the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ. Please contact Tom “Pig Daddy” Koprowski at 630-890-0465 or email@example.com and the Barb-B-Crew to learn more or take the next step.