Wine, Brew & BBQ smokes competition

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sponsor BBQ — From left, Bob Stanfiel and Shane Alexander of the B-S BBQ Outlaws cook up a tasty feast to thank the Wine, Brew & BBQ’s local individual and business sponsors. These sponsors help fund the event and the $10,000 prize package. [PN Photo/Kacie Svoboda]­

By Kacie Svoboda

Big flavor and big fun are back in Hill City with the fourth annual Wine, Brew & BBQ on Friday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Aug. 27.

“We’re into our fourth year. We’re a proven, quality event and we have a venue unlike any competition that I’ve been to yet,” said event organizer Bob Stanfiel. “We’ve just got everything you need right here.”

The event will begin with the opening of the Wine & Brew Village and BBQ Alley each day and continue with live music in the afternoon. Both the village and the alley will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

BBQ Alley, located in the parking lot between Rico’s and Twisted Pine Winery, was created for non-profit groups to participate in the event and also to fundraise. The Hill City Masonic Lodge has been part of BBQ Alley since Wine, Brew & BBQ’s inaugural year, with proceeds helping fund the organizations high school scholarships, child identification program and other philanthropic endeavors.

The Wine & Brew Village is in a new location this year, next to the Farmer’s Daughter on Elm Street. Approximately 20 microbrews and 20 wines from across the state will be available. Attendees can purchase four drink tickets for $5 at the information tent in front of the Farmer’s Daughter, which can be cashed in for a glass of beer or wine of their choice or for four tastings.

Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday, a variety of live musical performances will be held on the stage in the parking lot between Twisted Pine and Rico’s. These acts were chosen for their excellence and variety, ranging from a cappella to country to rock ‘n’ roll.

“We want it always to be known as a quality family event,” Stanfield said.

The line-up will start with local talent Don Anderson on Friday, followed by Michael Shaw of Spearfish, the Men’s A Cappella Group featuring former Hill City major Pete Stach, Aces and Eights of the Northern Hills and Crash Wagon of Rapid City. Open Stage favorite and Steve Thorpe Awardee Paul Larson will lead off Saturday, followed by Mark Williams of Newcastle, Wyo. and the Hill City Slickers.

Teams will set up Friday on Elm Street and Stanfiel recommends attendees make time to mingle with these barbecue veterans.

“It’s a great place for the backyard barbecuer to come and visit with these teams,” he said. “They’re not going to give you their greatest secret. But they’re going to help you.”

As of Wednesday, Aug. 17, there were 29 teams registered from “California to Kentucky and everywhere in between,” with only one more open spot. Due to the limited amount of space available, the Wine, Brew & BBQ committee capped the entries at 30 teams this year. Last year, the event saw 26 contestants and Stanfiel attributes the bump to him and Shane Alexander taking their outfit, B – S BBQ Outlaws, on the road, competing approximately 11 times this year alone.

“Us going out and cooking promotes the town. Our trailer’s got Hill City on three sides and that is one of the big factors of why we have so many more teams coming,” Stanfiel said. “We felt that if we wanted to continue to grow this event, we had to go see what the teams were doing. Now we’re hooked on it. It’s our golf.”

Stanfiel and Alexander won’t be competing in the Wine, Brew & BBQ, as it’s against Kansas City Barbecue rules for a contest coordinator to cook competitively in the event. However, B-S BBQ Outlaws will be set up as a vendor in BBQ Alley to raise money for the Hill City Masonic Lodge.
Stanfiel anticipates there will be plenty of good competitors at the event, with “at least five teams that are ranked in the top 15 in the country.”

While not every team is guaranteed to compete in the Wine, Brew & BBQ’s main attraction, the People’s Choice contest, there should be plenty of competition-style barbecue from 1:45-3:15 p.m. on Saturday.

“That’s one thing people want is actual barbecue that the teams are cooking,” Stanfiel said. “People’s Choice goes hot and fast because people are hungry and the teams are ready to wind down and be done for the day.”

Because of it’s popularity, Stanfiel recommends attendees get their $2 tokens early but advises to take it slow.

“Pace yourself, not only on the beverages, but on the food, too, because you’ll be so fat you’ll be taking a nap,” he said.

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Archery tournament set for Saturday

By Carol Walker                                    

With archery season just around the corner, Hill City Young Life invites hunters and target shooters to “pull out the arrows and rosin up the bow” and join them for a country boy experience at the third annual Hill City Young Life Archery Tournament. Men, women and youth, ages 12 and up, and of all skill levels are invited to join in the fun this Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Harney Mountain Wilderness Area just off Old Hill City Road.

J. Scull Construction of Rapid and Top Pin Archery of Custer are partnering with Hill City Young Life to host a morning of shooting in a beautiful outdoor setting near Hill City. With area businesses sponsoring the event and the targets and the $25 entry fee, all proceeds from this fundraising event will be used to benefit the Young Life program which reaches out to the youth of the area.

Registration and a light breakfast will be provided from 8-9 a.m. and the shotgun start is set for 9:15 a.m., with the tournament to be completed by about 12:30 p.m. Lunch, a short program and prizes will follow the tournament. Ages 12 up to 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and no one under 12 is allowed on the course.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call (605) 574-2538.

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Crosswalk could get crossed out

By Kacie Svoboda

 At the Keystone Town Board Meeting last Wednesday, Aug. 17, trustee Lynette Gohsman pushed for the city to begin the process of eliminating the crosswalk closest to Highway 40 on Winter Street.
“What do we have to do to get this ball rolling?” she asked.

This issue was originally brought up at the Aug. 3 meeting when Gohsman read a letter from Danielle Banks, owner of the Holy Smoke Resort. In it, Banks retold an incident where she narrowly missed hitting pedestrians due to the placement of a delivery truck. As the truck was parked between the second and third crosswalks on Winter Street, Banks was unable to see a man and two girls starting across the road on the crosswalk behind the truck. Methods for better controlling truck parking and delivery times were discussed.

Finance officer Vanessa Row explained that the issue had been handled in the past by the city hand-delivering letters to the businesses, asking for them to have all deliveries completed before 9 a.m.
“We had this fixed once and it worked really well,” Row said.

However, Gohsman strongly believes that at least one of the four existing crosswalks on Winter Street should be removed and seems to have settled on the northernmost one. If this crosswalk is removed, trucks could be required to park north of the remaining crosswalks eliminating the sightline problem and improving pedestrian safety.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call (605) 574-2538.

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Budget approved

By Carol Walker

Short and sweet, that is what the Hill City Council meeting was on Monday night as the council quickly dispatched the business of the city. They had the second reading of the 2017 budget, which was nearly the same as the first reading two weeks ago. The budget was unanimously approved.

Very similar to the report after the last meeting, categories and amounts listed include General Government, $515,628.66; Public Safety, $194,285.11; Public Works, $802,351.49; Health and Welfare (Ambulance as the only sub-category), $10,000; Culture and Recreation, $193,862.25; Conservation and Development, $257,563.50; Debt Service, 236,712.32; Miscellaneous, $3,100; and Other Financing Uses, $11,019.47, all adding up to a total city budget of $2,311,985.41.

According to Dotti Oldenkamp, city finance officer, the City just received a $1,000 grant for mosquito control. That was added into the budget under Miscellaneous, bringing the total to $3,100.
Chamber Director Janet Wetovick-Bily reported on all the activity surrounding the Hill City Chamber of Commerce, noting that numbers at the Visitor Information Center in July were on par with last year during the same time period.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call (605) 574-2538.

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Ranger Field ‘useable venue’ by Homecoming

Moving Dirt — After weeks of delays, the Ranger Field renovation finally began to haul away its extra topsoil to the Hill City Cemetery last week. From there, the city becomes the owner of the dirt and can resell it. [PN Photo/Kacie Svoboda]­

By Kacie Svoboda

After a round of delays, the Ranger Field renovation is beginning to make visible progress again. The project lost over 10 weeks in waiting for an excavation permit, as the renovation designs first needed stream-flow data and then approval from FEMA.

However, this was just the start of a parade of small delays. The construction crew discovered that the existing track was slanted, with the north side higher than the south. As the project requires that at least 18-inches of top soil be removed throughout the length the track, the crew had to remove three feet from the higher side of the field to ensure the track would be even. While doing additional digging, the renovation crew discovered more water and electrical lines underground than were expected, leaving them more stuff to work around.

The Ranger Field Renovation Committee (RFRC) has also had to make several other on-site adjustments, like having to expand the track to the south. The existing track was a 440-yard track and the new track is the regulation 400-meters, meaning the new track was larger and had to be repositioned. In addition, the long jump has continued to be a problem, as the first two placements ran into issues.

“We’ve moved the long jump for the third time now,” RFRC member Mike Welu said.

Regular rain has also slowed the project, forcing the crew to cease work entirely some days because of mud.

“We were in a drought right up until we started moving dirt,” Welu said. “As soon as we started moving dirt, it’s rained about every day.”

Welu explained that the renovation crew didn’t want to track mud through town and have to add cleaning the streets to the schedule or budget.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call (605) 574-2538.

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Is cricket munching catching on?

By Kacie Svoboda

If the sight of Bear Grylls slurping up maggots or crunching through a giant beetle makes your stomach turn, you may want to skip this column because this week, an article asking if insects could be the food source of the future piqued my interest.

The story focused on the enthusiastic sales of two products sold at Cibo Express, an airport market chain, Exo protein bars and Chirps. Exo protein bars and Chirps each contain a not-so secret ingredient — crickets. Chirps are tortilla chips made from cricket flour and each Exo bar contains approximately 40 ground-up crickets. According to a Cibo representative, these products are wildly popular at airports around the country and “flying off the shelves,” encouraging cricket-pushing companies around the world to have hope that crickets could be accepted into the mainstream diet and change the world.  

On its website, Exo claims its protein bars are an “intelligent first step towards normalizing the consumption of insects, which will in turn have enormous global impact.” Exo also cites several comparisons between crickets and other more conventional protein sources like beef and chicken. According to their charts, crickets dominate in every category — with more protein per product, 60 pounds of “edible” protein converted from 100 pounds of feed, greenhouse gas emissions 100 times less than cows and water requirements of just one gallon per pound.

In the article, Entomo co-founder Jarrod Goldin went so far as to claim, “If you don’t care about food and the environment and health, then (eating crickets) is not for you.”

But all these wonderful benefits can’t eclipse one thing in the American palette — how does it taste?
While I haven’t tried the bars or the chips, I happen to have eaten a cricket, a “waterbug” and a bamboo worm, counting me among the estimated two billion people around the world who have insects in their diet. And what is eating a cricket like? Honestly, it was the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.

It was crunchy and gooey and spiny with legs that refused to be chewed into submission. The Thai stall I was sampling from had soaked the offending crickets in fish sauce, reducing whatever natural flavor a cricket may have to the taste of rotting fish.

I think even environmentalists who are believers in reducing gas emissions and water usage will struggle with the taste and feel of consuming insects to save the environment.

The textural issues alone may explain why cricket-based companies are coating their crickets in conventional products as protein bars or utilizing cricket flour. Cricket flour is generally made by freezing, boiling, roasting and grinding the insects into a powder — with 3,000 to 5,000 crickets in each pound. But after gnawing on a cricket leg, I wonder how any amount of processing could reduce thousands of crickets to anything resembling the consistency of flour.

As you probably know, the United States is not a large consumer of insects and that leads to the new industry’s biggest issue: even if insects taste good, which I’m not sure is true, the concept of eating bugs is icky. In the article, professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming and author of “The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe and Love Insects,” Jeffrey Lockwood, explained that the revulsion of insects — both in and out of our mouths — is based on an “evolutional predisposition” and “cultural messages,” which may explain why I was willing to try a cricket but am loath to consider eating insects on a regular basis. There’s an astronomical difference between consuming bugs out of the spirit of adventure and cultural exploration and eating a pile for lunch.

However, we have made these dietary leaps before with sushi and even lobster. Lobster was still being used as fertilizer for farmland along the North American coast as late as 1876. Around this same time period, Eastern Canadians were cooking them up solely as slop for their pigs and those who ate lobster were considered degraded and were most likely poor.

Now, there are not many North Americans who would turn down a lobster dinner. So maybe we’re just a few decades away from downing a pile of crickets in fancy restaurants served with a side of butter.

It’s possible, but I hope not.

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Thomas Arthur Craig

Thomas Arthur Craig was born on April 4, 1952, to Ed and Willamina Craig. He went to school in Sioux Falls, S.D., and worked for the Sioux Falls Water Department. He lived in the Hillyo Apartments in Hill City.

Thomas died on Aug. 4, 2016. He was 64 years old.

A memorial service will be held at the Little White Church on Friday, Aug. 26, at 11 a.m.

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