By Jason Sturek
Pender Times Publisher
The scene down by the Legion Hall in Pender Friday and Saturday, June 17-18, might strike some locals with a dose of Déjà Vu.
With a tent on roughly the same spot as a year ago for the Q125 celebration and barbeque contest rigs dotting the landscape, it’s going to look a lot like it did during the same weekend last year when the contest was a Q125 pre-event.
The Pender Bender Brew and Que will be bringing in some of the top competitors of the Kansas City Barbeque Society circuit to compete for the Nebraska state championship and, with some skill and a little luck, a share of $5,000 in prizes.
Event organizer Mark Lorensen of Pender said at least one team featuring local grillers will be on hand. “Up in Smoke” consists of Kenny Meyer, Travis Nilges and Richard Urbanec.
Barbequers will begin setting up shop early Friday morning. A beer garden will open up at 5 p.m., and live music will be provided by the Ned Scott Band from 7-10 p.m.
Now in its second year, the event will be held each year on Father’s Day weekend, according to Lorensen. It borrows its name from an event some may remember from the late 1970s — the “Pender Bender.”
Held each summer from 1977-79, the event was held on land owned by Dave Lueders. Live bands played, including notable acts Cactus Flats, Jeremiah Sundown and Stinger.
“I don’t think it’s something you could really have today,” Lorensen said.
But the name will live on with the new event.
In future years, Lorensen said he’d like to see a home brewing contest featured and other attractions added. This year, an antique tractor show sponsored by Pender Implement will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. between the city park and swimming pool.
Later in the day, a car cruise sponsored by Schrieb’s Bar will line up in that same area and cruise from noon until 3 p.m.
Barbeque vendors will be selling food Friday and Saturday, so there will be plenty of good eating to go around. From 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., the “people’s choice” portion of the barbeque contest will be held. That’s when anyone from the public can taste the contestants’ food and vote on the best.
Those interested in entering an antique tractor in the show should call Curt Buchholz at 402-385-2346 or Val Johnson at 402-385-3452.
To arrange a spot in the car cruise, call Doug Schrieber at 402-385-3446.