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Barbecue season has arrived, and with it, some of the best barbecue festivals and competitions across the country. From Memphis to Monte Rio, Kansas to Kissimmee, backyard bosses and professional vendors will be logging miles to show off their smokin’ skills.

Pull up to BBQ festivals and competitions across the country and show them what you’ve got in a Cargo Express custom BBQ porch trailer.

Here are some tips for choosing a custom vending trailer that’s practical and adds sizzle to your presentation.

Pick a porch trailer: A fully enclosed mobile concession trailer is great for preparing and selling food at events. But a BBQ trailer with porch access provides all that, plus a stage for showmanship. The covered porch section allows you to interact up-close with customers, engage their senses, show off your cooking flair, offer samples, and provide demos. Yet you can still prep, cook and vend from the indoor part of the trailer

Strut your style: Part of the fun of barbecue events is the festive atmosphere: colors—and colorful characters—abound.  So make an impression and hog the attention with a porch trailer that announces your arrival. Cargo Express porch vending trailers come in 11 colors, from eye-catching red, orange, or yellow to a smoky charcoal or bluesy indigo.

Have it your way: Nobody fires up a barbecue like you, so you’ll want to customize your rolling kitchen.  A Cargo Express porch trailer comes with many options and combinations so you can set up your environment just the way you like it. The layout of sinks, plumbing and cabinets, the number and location of electrical outlets, the type of windows, the loading doors—choose and arrange every component so you can cook, compete, and serve to your best advantage.

Get there safely:  Life on the road can be the pits, so make sure your mobile concession trailer can handle the bumps and bad weather along the way. Choosing a trailer with sturdy construction will not only protect your trailer, but everything you haul inside it. Look for tube main frame construction, at least a ¾” thick floor, spring axles, EZ-Lube hubs, 4-wheel electric brakes, bright LED lights, and safety chains. In addition, you’ll want to take along a basic auto repair kit, GPS (or detailed maps for back country driving), and a flashlight.

Ready to hit the road? You can find barbecue festivals practically year-round, so long as you are willing to travel.  Some contests host a one-day event, others span an entire weekend. Some are big and splashy, others small and intimate. But all offer good food, friendly competition, and loads of fun.

Some of the hottest barbecue competitions coming up include:

– The Stumptown Smokeoff, Monte Rio, Calif., Aug. 19, 2017;

– The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® in Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 31-Sept 3, 2017;

– Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, Fayetteville, Ark., Sept. 20-23, 2017;

– The Jack Daniels’ World Championship Invitational Barbeque
, Lynchburg, Tenn., Oct. 27-28, 2017;

Want more? The website has a comprehensive listing of competition events around North America.

Wherever you go, be sure to go in style. Cargo Express has a BBQ porch trailer that suits your needs whether you’re a professional barbecue vendor or just a backyard boss who likes to get his grill on.

Bonus: Here are a few extra tips to consider before you head out to your first competition.

1. Make a checklist. Everything from the aprons and sauce ingredients to wipes and a flashlight should be on your list. Pros make two columns: one for acquiring the equipment and one for checking off as you load up the porch trailer.

2. Review the rules. You don’t want to prepare the best barbecue ever only to run afoul of the competition’s rules. For example, many competitions allow you to pre-trim the meat—but some don’t.

3. Keep it simple. Consider entering only one or two categories at first. This will take off some of the pressure, give you the lay of the land, and ease you into the realm of competition.

4. Assemble a crew. You can make up a team from your family, your friends, or your restaurant staff. The number depends on what you need to accomplish and how much room you have—you want enough hands on deck to cover all the jobs, but not so many that they’re bumping into each other.  Just make sure everyone knows their job and is ready to work and have fun. (And don’t forget the matching caps and t-shirts!)

5. Enjoy yourself. Whether you’re at a small county fair or one of the major competitions, remember it’s all about people enjoying good food together. If you don’t win a ribbon—there’s always another competition down the road!