Like the event itself, the reputation for Quincy's Smoke on the River barbecue contest continues to grow among pit masters.
"We have a good reputation for being right on the river," 2012 event Chairman Art Awerkamp said. "They like that they're on pavement and not in the grass like they are at other events. They like the atmosphere of the event."
The event, sponsored by the Quincy Exchange Club, has more than doubled in size since its inception seven years ago. Last year's event drew 39 participants.
Once again, Smoke on the River will feature music and activities in addition to all the food. The event features pit masters from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Indiana. Watching the teams set up shop, Awerkamp said, is one of his favorite parts of the weekend.
"It's fun to see guys with this huge equipment roll in," he said. "It's just a hobby for them."
Certified judges will be taste-testing the barbecued offerings from Smoke on the River contestants. The grillers will be fighting for a top prize of $6,500. The award ceremony is scheduled for about 3 p.m. Saturday.
All proceeds will go toward various Quincy Exchange Club projects.