Fire and Rain

Boomsday 2011 - Henley Street Bridge Boomsday 2011 - railroad bridge with fireworks ready to go The mostly-dismantled Henley Street Bridge loomed above the 2011 Boomsday festival in Knoxville. The mortar shells were placed upon rail cars and to the center of the nearby railroad bridge. The fireworks went on as scheduled, despite the weather. This year the program opened with the popular waterfall effect, which created a smokescreen for those of us watching from below the level of the bridge. The pictures taken from higher up were spectacular. The Pyro Shows staff and Knoxville firefighters proved their worth when there were unexpected explosions caused by a fire on the bridge after the show.

Boomsday 2011 - Calhoun's RibDonkulous contest winners with Frank During the afternoon street festival, I served as emcee for Calhoun’s RibDonkulous Rib-Eating Contest. Ten contestants ate as many ribs as they could in eight minutes. The bones had to be free of meat in order to count. Dr. Tom Gaddis of Pellissippi State Community College led the team of judges. The winner, Chris Hartranft, cleaned 23 bones. Nobody suffered a “reversal of fortune” although we did have buckets standing by, just in case.

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2 Responses to Fire and Rain

  1. Chris Hartranft says:

    I had a great time competing in Calhoun’s Rib Donkulous BBQ Blowout. You did a wonderful job as emcee. You really got the crowd going and kept the energy up!

    You created a much different atmosphere than I’ve experienced in the past. I’ve completed a few eating challenges but I’ve only been in one other competition. I was in the Roaming Gnome’s “Challenger Challenge” where I went up against another eater in a head to head challenge in Sevierville. That event was supposed to have several contestants but only two showed up. The other competitor was a professional eater from Atlanta. He took down the burger and fries in 7 ½ minutes. I wasn’t far behind.

    I generally go for quantity and speed challenges (I avoid heat challenges). I’ve found a few in and around Knoxville. I’ve completed Sweet P’s “El Gigante” bbq burrito challenge, Hot Rod’s 50’s Diner “Chubby Challenge”, Willy’s Bar & Grill “Fouled Anchor” Challenge, and I Love NY Pizza’s “Pizzilla” (this one is a two person challenge) to mention a few. I’ve also traveled a bit for challenges. I went to Nashville to take on the “Big Roost” 72oz steak challenge at Rooster’s Texas Style BBQ and Steakhouse, Jeffersontown, KY for Chubby Ray’s Original “Fat Teddy” challenge (a burger made with 5lbs of beef plus fries) and Kingsport, TN for Sloopy’s Diner’s “Two Pound” Challenge (a burger with two pounds of beef plus fries to be eaten in 10 minutes). The only challenge I’ve failed (to date) is the pancake challenge at Connie’s Kitchen in Seymour. I will give that one another attempt in the future.

    I’m always looking for a new challenge. I plan to make the trip to Louisville, KY in the near future to take on the “Comfy Cow” 15 scoop ice cream sundae challenge. Also, I’ve found a Newport restaurant with a speed challenge. The Rusty Barn has a triple cheeseburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun (Tornado Challenge) plus fries to be completed in ten minutes.

    The Rib Donkulous rib eating contests was a wonderful competition. The folks at Calhoun’s did an amazing job putting the event together. It was apparent that a lot of thought and preparation went into making the event go so smoothly. They definitely put together a top notch group of people I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to. From their own personnel (Bart Fricks, Chef Paul, Brenda Herron, and “Cal the pig” to mention a few), Dr. Tom Gaddis with the PSTCC Culinary Students, and I’m sure there a many others I’ve unfortunately omitted. I’d also like to thank you again for your contribution to the contest. Having a professional radio personality calling the “rib by rib” action and getting the crowd involved really made the event unforgettable.

  2. Frank Murphy says:

    Thanks for the kind words Chris! I had a great time at the rib contest. Congratulations again on your victory!

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