Joe Osbrink of Never Easy BBQ in Des Moines checks his ribs.

Hickory and apple-wood smoke wafted through the downtown air during the 5th Annual Pearl City Picnic on 3rd Street in front of City Hall. A fundraiser for Senior Resources, picnic goers feasted on samples from 11 Kansas City Barbecue Society pit masters from around the state.

The Pearl City Picnic is held each year in conjunction with the season opening of the Muscatine Farmers Market, bringing hundreds of visitors to Downtown Muscatine on a beautiful spring Saturday morning.
“We’re impressed with Muscatine’s downtown,” said first-time Pearl City Picnic contestant Ted Ross from Des Moines’ Never Easy BBQ. “We go to a lot of Iowa cities and towns and I really like Muscatine’s neat and tidy refurbished downtown. Plus we’re looking forward to seeing the riverfront after he contest is over.”
The event brought in 11 grillers from around the state to compete for bragging rights in four categories:  sauce, chicken, ribs and people’s choice. Participating out masters are all members of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 20,000 members worldwide. Including the Pearl City Picnic, the KCBS sanctions over 500 barbeque contests world wide.
The event has been held for the last five years as a fundraiser and awareness builder for Senior Resources, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping senior citizens throughout Muscatine County. Senior Resources’ goal is to provide services for seniors so that they may continue living independently with dignity in their own homes.
For more information about the organization and its programs, visit its website at:  https://muscatineseniorresources.com/