They come from all around, these sultans of smoke.

    They come with ribs of pork, briskets and sausage.


They come from all around, these sultans of smoke.
    They come with ribs of pork, briskets and sausage.
    And even though the competition itself is today, countless competitive barbecuers were setting up shop Friday morning in Wright Park. When most of Dodge was rushing to work, they were sending plumes of smoke across the Liberty Garden.
    "It's fun," said Dodge City resident Brendan Wright. "You really get to know the other people that compete."
    Wright busied himself preparing for Saturday's judging, while another competitor nearby stoked a long line of smokers.
    This isn't the first contest for Wright, who said he's competed for the past several years.
    The contest isn't small pickings, either.
    Today's contest is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society as an official cook-off and entering its 19th year.
    The public is invited to join a sampling of the best of the best in barbecue at 11 a.m.
    Unfortunately, tasting the competitors' wares is limited to the judges themselves. The public, however, will be treated to a bevy of meats provided by National Beef and Cargill Meat Solutions. If that weren't enough, plans are in place for live music entertainment and events for kids as well.
    And for those hopefuls pitching their tents in Wright Park before the heat of a Dodge City summer kicked into full gear, it's a way of life.

Reach Mark Vierthaler at (620) 408-9908 at mark.vierthaler@dodgeglobe.com.