By Thomas Garcia
Staff writer 

Chuckwagon Cook-off 'went well'

About 260 turned out; a wagon returned after an eight-year hiatus.


May 2, 2018

Thomas Garcia

Residents, visitors line up at the Tin Cup Chuckwagon Saturday during the 18th annual chuckwagon cook-off at Ute Lake State Park in Logan.

More than 260 people enjoyed the traditional cooking from five competing chuckwagons Saturday at the 18th annual Chuckwagon Cook-off at Ute Lake State Park in Logan.

"The event went well considering we only had five wagons this year," said Sharon Reid, event coordinator.

Reid said the chuckwagon teams were very accommodating by splitting the load of preparing 300 chicken fried steaks, mashed potatoes, beans and apple cobblers. She said including the judges' meals, each chuck wagon prepared 60 chicken fried steak.

"The 300 meals covers the cost for the event, prizes and scholarship money," Reid said. "This year we had no tickets left over; the tickets we provide to sponsors aside, we sold all of the 260 meal tickets."

Albuquerque residents Linda and Bob Hudson were two walk-in guests who were fortunate enough to purchase two tickets that became available.

"My husband read about the event in the newspaper," Linda said. "We thought it would be such a great experience to come out and enjoy the food and see the wagons."

This year's competition had some newcomers, regular contenders and the return of a chuckwagon after an eight year absence.

"We love this event, but when our grand daughter started playing softball in high school and college we took a break to follow her," said Marilyn Johnson of J-D Chuckwagon in Amarillo.

Johnson said this was the chuckwagon team's first time back in eight years. She said the crew had competed in the competition since it's beginnings.

"It's such a wonderful event, good people, great weather and a wonderful location," Johnson said.

Smoke from the campfire was swirling around from the wind as Johnson prepared the gravy for the meal. Johnson said she often apologizes for the smoke if it bothers people.

"Come to find out many people enjoy the smell of the smoke, I personally think that it's a part of the very essence of this event," Johnson said.

The J-D chuckwagon won first place overall, second to the Cockelburr Chuckwagon out of Odessa, Texas.

The other wagons competing in the event were Nicholas Wagon of Amarillo, Texas, Mountain Trails Wagon of Rye, Colorado and the Tin Cup of Holly, Colorado.

"This was our first time coming to this event," said Pat Palmer, Tin Cup Chuckwagon.

Palmer said he is relatively new to the chuckwagon cook-off competitions, but has been working as a wheelright for several years. He said a wheelright is a craftsman who builds and repair wagon wheels.

"I partnered up with Kent Anderson, who has been competing in these type of events for more than five years," Palmer said.

Palmer said there is a lot of tradition behind the history of the chuckwagon.

"If you want to know more, come on out to an event and ask us," Palmer said.

Reid said the planning for next year's event will begin in the next few weeks.

"We are so thankful for all of the support for this year's event," Reid said. "We had beautiful weather, a great turnout and on top of it all, we are going to be able to give local students a scholarship."


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