By Emily Klein, Reporter
The third annual Smokin’ On Main barbeque competition expected over 35,000 visitors this past weekend due to the favorable weather and excellent barbeque fare. Although the official numbers are not in, that number may not be far off the mark.
Organizers Chris Bohnemeier and Mike Radosevich from Code 3 Spices have successfully hosted another Smokin’ On Main event, with around 100 competitors this year between each competing level.
The festival also expanded a couple of blocks and a parking lot was added for state teams competing.
Also new for the festival for this year was the use of a shuttle bus for visitors, since parking near the festival was limited. The shuttle bus was also utilized for the Horseradish Festival this past June. With temperatures mostly in the 80s, visitors were comfortable milling around the festival eating barbeque from the 16 vendors without getting overheated.
“With the weather being nice this year we’re expecting tens of thousands. We think we had 35,000 last year and we think we’re gonna beat it this year,” Radosevich said before the festival started.
Last year, the festival had an estimated $3.8 million economic impact on Collinsville and gives Code 3 an additional opportunity to carry out their company mission: giving back to charitable organizations they believe in. All the proceeds from Smokin’ On Main are donated to the U.S. Veterans Foundation and the Collinsville Food Pantry.
Code 3 Spices said that the purpose for starting Smokin’ On Main is to bring the Collinsville community together, to make a difference and encourage other businesses, and to give back. Bohnmeier and Radosevich also wanted to create an opportunity for others with a passion for barbeque to have a platform and explore the world of professional barbeque.
The Collinsville Chamber of Commerce helps Code 3 with the festival and recruits volunteers to help work stations like the beer tents. Smokin’ On Main also has acquired a number of sponsors to support them. Some of their sponsors included Laura Buick, Budweiser, World Wide Technology Raceway, Scott Credit Union, First Community Bank, FCB Banks, Viviano Heating and Cooling, Korte Meats and McCarthy Spices.
“We credit the success of this event to the City of Collinsville and our sponsors. Chris and I utilize 8 months of the year to make sure this event is top notch. Without our sponsors, this event wouldn’t be possible,” Radosevich said.