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And the winner of the second-annual Ville Burn-Off is...

August 21, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor ( , The Herald-Star

Baby-Boyz BBQ LLC of Toronto was the returning champion for the second-annual Ville Burn-Off held Aug. 18 at Jim Wood Park, Steubenville, and home it went as the winner again.

Second-place honors went to the Smoke Shack of Columbus with a third-place finish for the Swhinery of Vandergrift, Pa.

Rod Harton of Wintersville organized the event, which included games for children, music by DJ Bill Harvey, plenty of good food and a number of drawings for a variety of prizes.

Article Photos

Event organizer Rod Harton of Wintersville with his wife, Francine

Judges for the event were Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, Larry Branham of Weirton and Chaz Jennings with the samplings identified by a number, not the name.

They judged on the three T's - taste, texture and tenderness.

The burn-off began at 10 a.m., moved toward the judging itself at 6 p.m. and proceeded on into the evening.

I can attest that the smells originating from Jim Wood Park because of this were something to behold, and that Better Half made more than one trip to the festivities for a plate of food.

Harton, a guy who loves to cook, was someone I had interviewed many years back as part of a Valley Life Father's Day feature on dads who cook. He prepared for me a delightful shrimp dish at the time with a secret ingredient he indeed kept secret.

As for the burn-off event, Harton said he and his friends once had back-yard who's-the- best-cook kind of friendly competitions which is how this particular event came to be.

Harton kicked it up a notch and organized the inaugural Ville Burn-Off in 2011 with plans to keep making this an annual tradition, something savory and special for the community to come out and enjoy.

"Hopefully it grows," Harton said of the competition that will be held again next year.

While trophies were awarded for the event, Harton pointed out that in an event such as this, there really aren't any losers.

"I enjoy this," he said.

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