Chillin’ and Grillin’ Barbecue Competition is held in Fontana | News

The 7th Annual Chillin’ N Grillin’ Barbecue Competition is in the books. The Concerned Citizens for the Development of North Fontana, Fontana Police Officers Association, and the City of Fontana sponsor the event.

It was held in the Fontana Park Sports Pavilion adjacent to the Jessie Turner Fitness Center. Ellen Turner, the president of Concerned Citizens, is the daughter of Jessie Turner, who founded the 1960s-era civil rights organization.

Emcee Brian Arrington, who is a host on IE Fox Sports, asked Mayor Acquanetta Warren to introduce the dignitaries in attendance. They included City Councilmembers Phillip Cothran, Peter Garcia, John Roberts, and Jesse Sandoval, City Clerk Germaine Key, and City Treasurer Janet Koehler-Brooks, as well as other dignitaries from law enforcement, education, business and the social sector.

The ComPITition’s top prize in the barbecue chicken category was won by Fontana POA, with San Bernardino POA taking second place.

In the barbecue rib category, San Bernardino County Firefighters Local 935 took first place, with St. Andrews Masonic Lodge No. 16 of San Bernardino coming in second.

The entertainment included a spectacular performance by the Summit High School Band under the direction of James Sharp.

The opening number was “America the Beautiful,” sung by Valerie Singleton-Evans, after which the Fontana High School Marine Corps JROTC presented the colors, followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the Summit Band.

Other entertainment included the Route 66 Hip Hop dancers, Route 66 Jazz dancers, and Harriet of the Heart and Soul Dance Group, which got many attendees up and dancing.

“The event is community togetherness in action. The police and fire associations, the historically important Concerned Citizens, and all elected members of the city leadership were there,” Warren said.

Fontana POA President Jason Delair added, “The importance of sharing a simple meal is that it links us together and builds trust through communication. It increases understanding and the willingness to collaborate on the common goal of keeping Fontana safe.”

Chalarra Dixon, the current Miss Black Awareness, was on hand to help with the event. She was joined by finalists for the 2022-2023 Miss Black Awareness.

Volunteers included men from the River’s Edge Ranch whose help is invaluable to the success of the event.

Key (Kiwanis) Club members from Fontana High School, Summit High School, and Kaiser High School volunteered in the Kids Zone, where the young people made get well “Kards for Kidz” who are hospitalized with serious illnesses.

Richard Gardenhire and Anne Senning won the Opportunity Drawing won Chillin’ N Grillin’ Barbecue Basket respectively.

Besides food and entertainment, the people loved seeing the fully restored 1928 Fontana Fire Truck made by Seagrave, a 1952 Ford police car, 2022 Ford police interceptor, Bearcat SWAT vehicle, BMW police motorcycle, a heavy-duty tow truck from Armada Towing, and the newly-acquired Aerostar police helicopter.

Organizers thanked Police Chief Billy Green, Fire Chief Jeff Birchfield, the staff from Fontana Community Services and Public Works, Jacque Long from the Fontana Foundation of Hope, and Phil Cothran of the Fontana Chamber of Commerce, who helped make the event possible.

The judges in the food competition were Draymond Crawford, Phillip Cothran, and R. Dale Evans.

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