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Battle of the Bones sizzles this weekend

Battle of the Bones is back with barbecue, craft brews, wine and live music in Central Point.

"We have a lot of barbecue teams returning this year," says event coordinator Sarah Garceau Wright. "New to the competition is Sugar's Barbecue from Portland. Run by Lynnae Oxley, she's on the current season of TLC's reality television series "BBQ Pitmasters," where she is competing for a $50,000 prize. She already has a slew of grand championships and awards under her belt."

Oxley will promote her barbecue, sauces and rubs at the annual Battle of the Bones to be held from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 26, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Twin Creeks Park, 555 Twin Creeks Crossing Loop. There is no cost of admission and no fee for parking.

"Movin' the Chains and Fat Dad's will be back this year," Garceau Wright says. "Movin' the Chains won grand champion and reserved champion last year, and Fat Dad's took first and second place in the overall awards. Smokin' Mirrors is back. They've won our People's Choice Competition three years in a row."

Twenty-six teams will compete at Battle of the Bones, up from 16 teams in 2014. Each team chooses what meats it will prepare for the People's Choice award.

"For the Kansas City competition — where all the money is and the chance to move on to the American Royal and Jack Daniels BBQ competitions — there are four specific meats that teams must turn in on Saturday," Garceau Wright says. "Chicken must be turned in at noon, pork ribs at 12:30 p.m., pork at 1 p.m., and beef brisket at 1:30. We're sanctioned by KCBS, and the meats will be presented to certified judges."

Twenty-five of the 26 teams are competing with KCBS, and about 18 teams are cooking samples for the People's Choice award, Garceau Wright says. Teams can choose if they want to participate in one or both of the competitions.

Tasting tickets for samples of the People's Choice barbecue — brisket, pork, chicken, chili — cost $10 for 10 tastes. Two tasting tickets may be required for such items as tri-tip, ribs and jalapeno poppers.

A ticket for craft brews and wines cost $12 and includes 16 two-ounce tastes and a souvenir wine glass. Ticket-holders vote for their favorite quaff or vintage. Full glasses of brews and wines will be available at a beer garden. No alcohol will be sold to people 20 and younger.

Free kids activities include an inflatable obstacle course, a giant slide, a jump house, balloon-tying, games and face painting. Henna, photography booths and other games will be available for small fees. 

Bobbio's Pizza will host a chicken-wing eating contest for adults and a cheese-pizza eating contest for kids at 6:45 p.m. Friday. Entry fee is $10, $5 for kids, and prizes include a family-size pizza from Bobbio's and two tickets for a Rogue Jet Boat Adventure.

Live music will be presented throughout the two-day event.

Billy Lund & Whiskey Weekend plays country at 4:30 p.m. Friday, and the Scott Perry Band of Brookings plays at 7:15 p.m. On Saturday, Frankie Hernandez & The Old Soul Parade will play soul-infused funk and rock at 11:30 a.m., soul singer Bishop Mayfield & Friends will perform at 1:30 p.m., rock and blues band Groove DeVille plays at 4 p.m., and the Ben Rice Band plays at 7 p.m. 

Tasting tickets can be purchased online at battleofthebones.com, by calling 541-664-3321, ext. 265, or at the event. All proceeds benefit Central Point Parks and Recreation Foundation. 

Contenders ready themselves for the spicy chicken-wing eating contest at the 2014 Battle of the Bones. Photo courtesy of Ashley Champagne