Two weeks away and you can already smell it. The 27th Annual Blue Springs Barbeque Blaze-Off is scheduled for Sept. 10-11, and once again there are some new dishes.

Two weeks away and you can already smell it.

The 27th Annual Blue Springs Barbeque Blaze-Off is scheduled for Sept. 10-11, and once again there are some new dishes.

This year, chefs from the various teams will compete in the Battle BBQ Challenge. Scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the event’s most popular night – Friday – its premise is simple: Two chefs from different teams compete against each other using equipment and ingredients provided to them.

“It’s for chefs of the teams that are there already, but it should be fun to watch,” said Pam Buck, recreation superintendent of the Blue Springs Parks and Recreation Department. “They have to make the best of what’s given them.”

The two-day event, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, continues to draw teams from all over the Midwest, growing by leaps and bounds.

This year marks the 27th time teams will gather at Hidden Valley Park. Back in 1984, the Blue Springs contest attracted nine teams, and last year there were about 80 teams, according to Buck.

“We’re planning on about the same this year,” Buck said. “It should be a great time, and more and more people in the area are taking notice.”

Typically, it’s Friday night when the most people come, Buck said.

By 5 p.m., contestants are beginning to dish out the fare that has been cooking since the previous night. Sausage, chicken, pork ribs, pork, brisket – lathered in original sweet, hot or traditional sauce.

Teams are coming from as far away as Iowa, though most are from the Kansas and Missouri areas. Other teams are from Lone Jack and Lake Tapawingo, Blue Springs and Independence.

Organizers kept the prize money amount to $10,000, the same as last year, when it was increased for the first time.

Winners can later qualify for the Missouri State Championship and an opportunity to compete at the Jack Daniel’s Invitational Barbecue World Championship in Tennessee.

Buck said last year’s grand champion, Pork Pullin’ Plowboys, will return, as will many of the previous winners.

Buck-a-bone sample booths will be located at front of the event, Buck said, a popular change from last year. The $1 tickets for the buck-a-bone are at the information booth, and money raised (20 cents for every $1 ticket sold) will benefit the Community Services League.

Buck-a-bone tickets will be on sale from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Entertainment will also be offered on a main stage, from 6-11 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday – a mixture of local bands, according to Buck.

Free shuttle service will be available Friday night, from John Nowlin Elementary School. Buck said visitors also will see some of the improvements made to the park, including parking lot resurfacing and curb improvements.