Fafo Coulliette, with Steele Barrel BBQ Company, serves up a pulled pork sandwich with sauce during Saturday’s first annual barbecue rally.

For a second straight weekend, Yelm City Park was the talk of the town, this time thanks to the first annual Nisqually Valley Barbecue Rally, which took place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Hundreds of community members came out to chow down on barbecue delicacies from about a half-dozen vendors, enjoy family activities such as bull riding and hopscotch, cool down with some adult refreshments in the beer garden and enjoy music from local bands.


From bull riding to hopscotch, there were plenty of activities for kids and families to partake in Saturday during the Yelm barbecue rally.

“It’s just been awesome. We just wanted to create something that brought our community together, supported local businesses and gave our chamber something to rally behind. And I feel like we’ve done that,” said Dan Nicholson, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce board president-elect, who helped create and organize the event.

The food and activities were a big hit with attendees, so much so that a few vendors were closing up shop around 4 p.m. because they didn't have any food left. But that didn’t stop the good times from rolling, as local bands — such as The Lemmings, Double Back Band, Backlash and Dan Walker — kept the party going and jammed out into the late evening.


Goat and Onion BBQ took home the grande champion title during Saturday’s barbecue rally in Yelm. In addition to the trophy, the team took home a smoker donated by Costco.

Andrew Barkis, co-owner of Hometown Property Management and 2nd Legislative District state representative, said it was great to see the passionate turnout from the community and all the support for local businesses and food vendors.

“Another fantastic Yelm community event,” Barkis said. “It epitomizes this community — you saw it last week at Prairie Days and with this event.”

City of Yelm council member and chamber board director Tracey Wood shared the same sentiment.


Participants in the adult pie-eating contest smash their faces in and chow down on a delicious pie. Matt McLellan, the contest’s winner, took home $100 plus a trophy thanks to sponsor ACU.

“For a first swing, I think we knocked it out of the park,” he said.

The rally also took place between the Yelm Farmers Market on McKenzie Street and the third Annual BMZ Fill in the Blank Jam at the Yelm skatepark.

The following are the results from Saturday’s cookoff competition.


From left, Debbie Edwards, Joan Patrick and Gary Edwards enjoy some hotdogs and beans Saturday afternoon.

• Goat and Onion took home the grand championship trophy, which included a smoker donated by Costco, the award sponsor.

• Steele Clayton and Steele Barrel BBQ Company took home the people’s choice award for best barbecue and food vendor. The accolade was sponsored by Hometown Property Management.

• Three Pellets Barbecue took home first place in the chicken category. Goat and Onion and Filthy Phil and the Boys took home second and third, respectively. The accolade was sponsored by Wilcox Farms.

• Three Pellets Barbecue took home first place in the pork ribs category. Good Water’s Backyard Barbecue and Smokin’ O’s Barbecue took second and third, respectively. The accolade was sponsored by Chrissy DeHan RE/MAZ Realty South.

• Smokin’s O’s Barbecue Team took home first place in the pork shoulders category. Goat and Onion and Filthy Phil and the Boys took home second and third, respectively. The accolade was sponsored by DZines.

• Goat and Onion Barbecue took home first place in the beef brisket category. Smokin’ O’s and Three Pellets took home second and third, respectively. The accolade was sponsored by Easthaven Villa.

• Smokin’ O’s took home the reserve championship. The accolade was sponsored by the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce.

Amber McCartney was the winner of the ACU kids pie eating contest. She took home $50 and a trophy. Matt McLellan was the winner of the ACU adult pie eating contest, and he took home $100 in addition to a trophy.

“I love any time we can come together and do this small town stuff,” McLellan said a couple hours after he won the title. “I literally have pie in my eyeballs right now.”

About 20 prizes donated by vendors, such as barbecue sauce and jewelry, were also raffled out to attendees.

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