The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce is working now to prepare for one of the last big public events of the summer.
While two other longtime big events - Homer's Backyard Ball and the Center City Block Party - were both canceled this year, the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Good Times Celebration Barbecue Cook-off is back for its 21st year.
The cancellation of both these longstanding events came as a shock to many Amarillo residents, who are used to attending them every year.
But the Chamber does not expect their absence to affect this year's barbecue cook-off.
"It's a 3 hour event, so it's not meant to be an all day affair like those other two are," said Penni Bentley, Senior Communications Director for the Chamber. "It's about getting out and promoting your business, wearing your company logo-ed shirt, having fun and connecting with people that you haven't seen probably since last year's barbecue."
Bentley does not think think the cancellation of Homer's and the block party will affect the Chamber barbecue's attendance numbers, saying all three of these events are hard to compare since they serve different purposes.
"All the years that Homer's and the block party and the barbecue were all three held, all three of them still had great attendance," said Bentley. "All three of them had very different crowds because they all stood on their own for what they were, and I think the Chamber's barbecue cook-off will still be just the same."
This is the Chamber's biggest annual event, and they expect between 5,000 and 6,000 people to attend.
More than 100 businesses will be facing off at the cook-off for the titles of "Best Ribs," "Best Brisket," and "Best Other Meats" next Thursday evening.
A new band - The Buster Bledsoe Band - and businesses who have never competed before will be joining dozens of veteran competitors downtown for this public event.
"I think we asked them all to make sure to bring food for 500-1000 [people] at a minimum," said Bentley. "We've never run out of food, and I don't see that this year will be any different."
Tickets can be purchased at any Panhandle Ticket Outlet, including any area United Supermarket or Amigos, the Civic Center Box Office, by phone at (806) 378-3096, or online here.
They are $30 if bought in advanced, or $40 at the gate, and are all-inclusive for food, drinks and entertainment.