KEARNEY — In an effort to raise funds for a splash pad to be built in downtown Kearney’s Lions Park, businesses are teaming up with the Kearney Enrichment Council to bring a block party atmosphere to the city and need public participation for the event to be a success.
To be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, the K-Town Showdown will include a Texas Hold’em poker tournament and smoke-off competition at TDR Auto Plaza, located at 801 N. Country Ave.
On social media, Kearney Enrichment Council said the organization is grateful to sponsors TDR and Dan Lechner’s Farmers Insurance for pairing on the fundraiser.
“It’s a great way to have fun with friends and donate to the splash pad,” states a KEC Facebook post.
Lechner said while people have been signing up to play poker, he needs at least 20 teams or individuals to sign up for the smoke-off competition.
The idea for the event, Lechner said, began because he wanted to have a smoke-off and began posting about it on social media to see if there was community interest. From there, he said, the idea grew.
“I was invited to a Kearney Enrichment Council meeting. They had been looking for an opportunity to have something to benefit the splash pad, something bigger. I suggested the idea of the smoke-off and suggested adding a poker tournament,” Lechner said, adding he then reached out to TDR to see if owners would be willing to allow the event to take place at their location.
“They were more than excited to have that happen,” he said. From there, the KEC came up with the clever event name.
Poker will be played on the TDR showroom floor, Lechner said, with smokers placed around the lot.
The smoke-off competition is open to amateurs who must prepare a pork butt and ribs. Any preparation and style is allowed. Entries will be judged by a panel on taste, texture and presentation.
“Amateurs are encouraged. This is not a sanctioned event and our judges are not professionals,” said Lechner. “Our judges are completely just going off what they like. Something that may win in competition barbecue may not win this contest.”
Prizes will be awarded with $500 for first place, $250 for second and $100 for third.
In addition to the poker tournament and smoked meat competition, the event will include catered barbecue meals, vendor booths and music as well as auctions.
“Every proceed is going to the enrichment council splash pad,” Lechner said.
To register for the showdown, visit ktown-showdown.eventbrite.com.