Barbecue returns to Lake Placid this weekend, July 4-6.

The aromas come from the pit bosses of the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid at the “9th Annual I Love BBQ and Music Festival,” benefitting the Thomas Shipman Youth Center in Lake Placid.

The center, just down the street from the skating oval, is a not-for-profit organization providing support and programs for youth 10-18 years of age. The facility was inspired by the late Thomas Shipman, a Lake Placid police officer who dedicated his life to the area’s youngsters.

The festival venue is the site of Eric Heiden’s five 1980 Winter Olympic gold medals in speed skating.


The I LOVE BBQ Junior World Championships will take place on Saturday, July 5, while Grand Champion and New York State Championship titles will be decided on Sunday, July 6. Paul Smiths College of the Adirondacks will offer $20,000 in scholarship money for the medal winners in the junior world championships.

These events are sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). Organizers of the I Love Barbecue and Music Festival are offering $9,000 in prize money, the most in the history of this event. The Grand Champion will take home $2,500. In addition, the junior world champions will receive $1,000 from the organizing committee, with a total of $4,000 distributed to the medal winners. Four-time and defending junior world champion Tiffany Londeen, of Eden Prairie, Minn., will bring her PepperQue team back to Lake Placid. She will be joined by several brothers. has ranked the I Love BBQ and Music Festival among its’ top 10 barbecue-themed events and festivals in the country. In addition, the KCBS has ranked the Lake Placid festival in its Top 20 nationwide.

Team Diva Q, led by pit master Danielle Dimovski, is coming back for her third consecutive year to compete in Lake Placid. The 2011 Jack Daniels Barbecue World Champion (Best BBQ pork class) will try to win the Lake Placid Grand Championship.

USA Luge, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, helps support the organization of the annual event as a means of giving back to its home community.

Daily admission is $6 for adults; children under 10 will be admitted free of charge.
Festival patrons can sample the many barbecue delicacies during the weekend. There will be a pulled pork tasting event on July 4 from 1-3 PM for $3 per person. A $3 Rib Fest, where the general public can sample the best ribs in the East, will be offered on July 5 from 1-3 PM. It was formerly known as buck-a-rib, and is held in memory of former festival competitor Mike Grudzinskas.

Milano North will sponsor the Top Chef competition on July 5, all day, beginning at 12 PM. This event, featuring local chefs and pit masters, will enable patrons to view a food demo, with tasting to follow. The Top Chef event is dedicated to the memory of former competitor and Lake Placid Grand Champion Nancee Gell.

Live music, including appearances by Sven Curth, Lowell Bailey, The Michael Louis Band, Dan Saulpaugh, Pat Duffy, Spring Street, JT Cubbenah and other local acts will perform under the tent over the three days.

Entertainment will also come in the form of the Krusher BMX Stunt Team, with its high-energy BMX bike and in-line skating exhibitions, all three days. There will be a kid’s bounce around area, face painting and coconut climbing trees as well. And for the third time in festival history, Dynomite, a mechanical bull, will appear in Lake Placid.

In the previous eight years of the event, nearly $150,000 has been raised for the Thomas Shipman Youth Center through the I LOVE BBQ AND MUSIC FESTIVAL.
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