Boo-Que by the Sea cooking up frighteningly good barbecue

Date Published: 
Oct. 20, 2017

This weekend, Delaware Seashore State Park, along with the Kansas City Barbecue Society, will be hosting a two-day barbecue festival the whole family can enjoy.

“We were approached by the Kansas City Barbecue Association with the idea to collaborate on an event with the proceeds going to our Children in Nature endowment,” said Ray Bivens, director of the state’s Division of Parks & Recreation. “We never had a barbecue event at Delaware Seashore State Park. The timing looked good — it’s the slower park of our camping season down there, so it’s been a great boom for that. Our campgrounds are entirely full at Delaware Seashore for this weekend.”

The festival begins on Friday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m., with events including kids’ trick-or-treating, a costume contest and People’s Choice Wing Competition. The event continues on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m., and Saturday’s festivities include a 5K walk/run, carnival rides, live music from Lower Case Blues and more.

The cost to attend the event is $5 per person, with children 12 or younger admitted free of charge.

“This year, we’re up to over 80 teams, and they’re coming from seven different states, with the farthest ones being North Carolina and New York. There are different categories people can enter in the competition, so there’s amateur and more advanced categories.

“There are kind of two sides of it — the public side where there’s music and barbecue food, and all the fun activities for kids; then there’s the competition side, which is my favorite. People can walk through the campground, and there are people cooking to turn in their food at certain times. Friday night, we have People’s Choice for Best Wings.”

Those who attend on Saturday will also have the chance to bid on low-digit Delaware surf-fishing tags. The live auction begins at 2:30 p.m. and the lowest tag digit available is No. 6. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition.

“Our state parks are a little different than our neighboring state parks — we’re 65 percent self-funded, so any time we can get help from the form of scholarships or endowments or things like that, it’s a huge help.

“Our Children in Nature endowment — the John & Linda Hollis Endowment — can be used for a variety of different purposes but is held through the Delaware Community Foundation, and our hope is to grow it over time,” said Bivens, noting that the endowment helps pay for things such as field trips, busing and teacher workshops.

He added that those who cannot attend the event but would still like to support the endowment may do so at any time, online or by mail, with donations being 100 percent tax-deductible.

Bivens said that, for those who haven’t been to the Boo-Que before, this is the year to check it out with the family and enjoy good eats.

“So, the chance to go through all the smells, pick their brains and learn more about the culinary art — people who have seen the TV shows about these kinds of competitions, this is the chance to visit it up close and personal,” he said. “There’s a lot of good food and good music, and definitely the chance to walk through and talk to the competitors.”

For more information and event schedule, visit