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Bay Area Barbecue Championship and Quick Food Gal Giveaway

If you love barbecue, you are destined for one smoke-a-licious time at the Bay Area Barbecue Championship on July 16 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., 32 teams will square off in four categories: Chicken, Brisket, Pork and Ribs.

Celebrity judges — including Bay Area Chef Joey Altman and everyone’s favorite retired pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger — will determine the winners. But there also will be a People’s Choice Award for members of the public to cast votes on whose ‘cue they believe clobbers all the rest.

After you’ve had your fill of smoky, charred meat, take a seat inside the Coliseum for the A’s only double-header of the year as they take on the Los Angeles Angels.

General admission tickets are $48 each, which gets you five food/drink coupons for the Barbecue Championship and one plaza outfield seat for the double-header.

VIP tickets are $78 each, which includes the food-drink coupons, plus a field level seat and access to VIP hospitality.

All tickets must be purchased in advance.

The event benefits Alternative Family Services, which provides services for foster children in Northern California.

Contest: I’m happy to be giving away three general admission tickets to the barbecue fest and baseball game (a value of $48 each) to one lucky Food Gal reader. Contest is open only to those who can make it to Oakland on July 16. Since the event is this Saturday, this will be a quick contest. Entries will be accepted only until noon PST July 13. The winner will be announced on July 14.

How to win?

Just tell me about a memorable time you had at a sporting event — either one where you were an onlooker or a participant. Best answer wins the three tickets.

Here’s my own answer to that question:

“For years, I paddled on a dragon boat team in the Bay Area. We were often a motley crew, with 20 of us sitting in pairs down the length of the boat and paddling our lungs out to the beat of a drummer crouched at the front. The key to speed and efficiency is for everyone to be in absolute synchronicity, with every paddle hitting the water at the exact same moment. In fact, there is a singular sensation that occurs when it works perfectly. Propelled by all those arms working together, you suddenly but assuredly feel the boat lift as if it’s effortlessly gliding on the very top of the water rather than slogging through it. In all the years that I paddled, I experienced that feeling only once in a race. It was actually one that we lost, too. But that sweet feeling in which we became one with the boat for those few fleeting minutes was something none of us ever forgot.”

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