Arts and Entertainment

Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber presents barbecue cook-off

SMOKEY POINT — The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce will be raising funds by staging a barbecue cook-off later this summer, before their wine-tasting early in the fall.

While the Chamber has often concentrated on a more select number of larger fundraisers, Chamber Managing Director Mary Jane Harman explained that the Chamber has opted to sponsor more events of a smaller nature throughout the year, with the “Old Fashioned Fourth” serving as the first such fundraising event.

The Whidbey Island Bank will sponsor and serve as the site for the Aug. 18-19 Smokey Point Barbecue Cook-Off and Marketplace.

The barbecue cook-off will only take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, while the marketplace will cover both Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19.

The parking lot of the Whidbey Island Bank will host the barbecue cook-off, while the Arlington Wal-Mart will host the marketplace just past the driveway leading to the store on 43rd Avenue, which runs in front of the Wal-Mart, down the entire length of the parking lot and beyond. Both activities are located conveniently close to the Chamber’s offices at 4126-B 172nd St. NE in Smokey Point.

“Our hope is to have 10 separate contestants or teams, and we will be using the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association rules, although we’ll be relaxing them a bit for this first year,” Harman said. “If it’s a hit with the public, we will apply to hold a ‘sanctioned’ cook-off next year, with the strict rules and regulations required by the association.”

Barbecue bites will be available to the public for a cost from the contestants, and the first place prize is set to be $200.

“With any luck, we might be able to get a sponsor to help us up the prizes this year,” Harman said. “After all, Smokey Point got its name from barbecue smoke. Eric and Pearl Shurstad opened a restaurant on the corner of 172nd Street and Smokey Point Boulevard. Their outdoor barbecue was named the Smokey Point Cafe after the plume of smoke it generated.”

Harman praised Arlington Wal-Mart General Manager Fritz Fittinger for his generosity in supplying space for entrepreneurs and vendors to market their wares and services.

“We also plan to have music and lots of fun,” Harman said. “We’ll have either a hot dog vendor or another food vendor, other than barbecue, and either ice cream or Sno-Cone concessions for the marketplace itself.”

Harman encouraged prospective barbecue chefs and marketplace participants to contact the Chamber about entering the cook-off or renting a booth site. Harman can be reached at the Chamber by phone at 360-659-5453 or via email at, while event chair Debbie Whitis can be called at 425-508-0435.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Chamber will be heading to the Dusty Cellars Winery on Camano Island to conduct their fall soiree, a private party of up to 50 people who will gather to socialize rather than fundraise for a change.

“There will be wine, music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine-tasting and a beautiful waterfront sunset,” Harman said. “No auctions, raffles or requests for donations.”

The evening will run from 6-9 p.m. and will cost $35 per person. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance for the headcount.  Call the Chamber’s offices at 360-659-5453 or log onto and click on “Events” for more information.


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