Football season at Auburn University brings people together. In the fall reunions happen every Saturday, before the game even starts. For some the real entertainment starts before kick-off.
Tailgating has become as much of a sport as football. Sides and salads in tailgating are like the band and the pregame show in a football game, but barbecue in tailgating is the team in the football game.
Once a year in Auburn Ala. professional and amateur or tailgate barbecuers are able to do shine in their own event.
The Bodagetta BBQ is an annual competition held the same weekend as the Auburn spring football game, also known as A-Day.
Contestants in the professional competition represent several states including: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia and Illinois.
The amateur competition is composed of local teams mostly from Alabama.
The entire competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbecue.
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The rules of the game are pretty basic; however there is one major stipulation. The contestants are not allowed to use gas or electric barbecue grills. This means that contestants must use wood, wood pellets or charcoal to grill their choice of meat.
The meat used in competition is what sets the two competitions apart. In the amateur category contestants can barbecue chicken, pork or both.
The professional category gets more extreme. Contestants have the option of barbecuing chicken, pork, pork ribs and beef brisket. Teams can compete in one, two, three or all four of the categories.
In order to be in contention for grand champion professional contestants are required to compete in all four categories.
Although the judges of the professional competition are sanctioned by KCBS, the judges of the local competition will be local celebrities.
Even though the Bodagetta BBQ is primarily about barbecue there are several events that non-competitors can participate in on Friday night or on Saturday while waiting to go to the football game.
“The event is located at the AG heritage park,” said Robyn Bridges, public relations and communications director for the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau. “The proceeds go to raise scholarships for the AG [agriculture] department.”
The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau is one of the primary sponsors of this event along with the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, Auburn University and Auburn University Athletics.
This event provides a great opportunity for Auburn alumni to come back to the loveliest village on the plains.