The Germans of Manning proved they really know how to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party with more than 350 attendees at the first annual chili and rib cook off last Saturday, March 17. More than $14,000 was raised for the benefit of Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park from the revelers at the Hausbarn Konferenz Centre, who ranged in ages from four to 80+ years old. More than 30 gallons of chili from 14 different cooks was sampled and voted on by ticket holders and judges, as were 120 racks of ribs prepared by 17 area BBQ masters. The fundraising event included 30 silent auction items which raked in over $3,000 and 20 delectable desserts that were auctioned off for more than $3,000 as well. In the rib competition, one local team captured the “unicorn” of a perfect score from all six judges, including rankings from Certified Barbecue Judge, Dr. Dave Nystrom, and Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge, Dr. PJ Greteman. That first place prize went to Mel Jackson and his “Jackson 5” entry. Second place went to Lucas Deiber and third to Eric White. When it came to People’s Choice, there was a similarity in the selected winners, but some differences in their rankings. Eric White, with Barrel Smoke BBQ, took first place in that competition, Mel Jackson came in second and Lucas Deiber third. Deiber had the distinct honor of placing in two food categories, going home with a first place finish in the judge’s selection for chili. Barb Sturm placed second and James McKinney came in third. Eric White’s name resurfaced on the chili side with a first place People’s Choice selection, followed by Barb Sturm in second and Doc Bob Vonnahme in third.