By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Chuckwagons, cowboys and cowgirls and the smell of food cooking in cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens overwhelmed the visitors Saturday at Ute Lake State Park in Logan.
Each year residents are drawn to the 16th annual Chuckwagon Cookoff featuring Old West chuckwagon cooking, according to Sharon Reid, event coordinator.
“Its a family affair,” said Walter Bressler, from Rising W Chuckwagon, out of Happy, Texas.
Bressler said the Rising W Chuckwagon has been competing in Logan for 10 years. He said each year the team returns to compete as a family and enjoy the event and local residents.
Each year the chuckwagons compete in cooking a meal in cast-iron skillets and Dutch ovens over a campfire. The entries, chicken fried steaks, potatoes, beans biscuits or roll and apple cobbler are blind judged with the top five wagons in each food category receiving cash prizes.
The wagons also were judged on their Old West authenticity.
All wagons on hand Saturday were adorned with amenities from the Old West, including Brooder lamps, six-shooters and graniteware cups and plates.
For the third year, the cookoff was held at a campground area near the beach at Ute Lake, where trees provided a windbreak and shade for competitors and visitors.
“The wind is just right, it keeps the flies and the heat away,” said Chuck Decker, representing Mountain Trails Chuckwagon, out of Rye, Colorado.
Decker said this is the second year for the Mountain Trails Chuckwagon to compete at the Logan cookoff. He said it is a good event that draws a good crowd to enjoy some “Old West delights.”
Reid said the event gives people a glimpse and feel of the Old West, but also brings the community together. She said residents and visitors get a chance to socialize while supporting a scholarship for a local high school student.
Reid said tickets were sold for $10 for a meal from the chuckwagons on Saturday and $5 for breakfast on Sunday. She said there was also a concert held Saturday night featuring music from Coby Carter and the 5 Miles West Band.
Reid said more than 300 tickets were sold with the proceeds from the event sponsoring college scholarships for local students.
The Canadian River Renegades, a non-profit organization, sponsored the cookoff.