Team 228's Country Fair BBQ Fundraisers](

Gus Robotics Team 228 is pleased to announce three new events where you can experience our increasingly-famous, hickory-smoked barbeque! You might have tasted it previously at the Meriden Daffodil Festival or at the Where’s Wolcott off-season competition, but now we are back for three major Connecticut Country Fairs, and it’s better than ever!

With at least one of these three fairs all less than an hour drive from nearly all of southern New England (including Hartford, New Haven, Springfield, Worcester, Providence, and even Boston), come experience the tractor pulls, horse shows, exhibition halls, entertainment, midway rides, and of course, the delicious food!

Our menu for each event will vary slightly, but the main items will be our hickory-smoked pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches, fresh corn on the cob, Georgia Red Hots, cheese and bacon fries, and ice cold drinks.

So bring your family, friends, and your appetite, because these are three events you will not want to miss! :cool:

More information can be found on our website:

All this talk of bacon and BBQ is making me hungry.

This is really good food! I hope to make it to one of the fairs!

yeah im hungry, will the bacon explode?

Ughh, that 4-town fair is sooooo far away… But then again, I do love me some mighty delicious Team 228 homemade beef brisket!

Why oh why do I have to be out of the state those other 2 weekends? lol

Oh wells. Maybe I’ll make my way up to Somers. Maybe. :cool:

Where do you think you are? FL?
Heck no! No exploding bacon of any kind in CT!!*

*(although team 228 does have a 1902 - Exploding Bacon connection by way of an alumni… but… lol That’s besides the point.) :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s practically in my backyard! :slight_smile:

Just down the road from my parents :wink:

dude i am in FL

Really cool idea… quick questions in case other teams wanted to implement something similar…

  1. What do you charge?

  2. What kind of food licenses do you need? Obviously this varies by state, but Im curious what CT requires.

  3. How much do you make off of one of these events?

One of the parents on our team [strike]went through a mid-life crisis[/strike] bought a 18’ trailer smoker/barbeque off eBay last year for $3k, and it’s just kind of gone on from there. Right now, this parent does a lot of smaller events like car shows by himself. For the larger country fairs and off-season competitions, the robotics team actively helps him. Depending on the fair rules, sometimes 100% of the profits have to benefit a non-profit (our team), but at other fairs the robotics team goes 50-50 with Big Country Hickory Pit BBQ.

Since he runs the show, he has the food preparation license, as well as a business ID that allows him to go straight to restaurant and wholesale food suppliers and buy large quantities of food and beverages through them. We also have a team alumni who is culinary school, and also has a food preparation license. AFAIK, the CT regulations state that everyone working in the food booth does not need a food preparation license, as long as at least one person who has one is there at all times.

The prices we charge are about consistent with all the other main food vendors at the country fairs, but they are cheaper than many of the concession stands I’ve seen at the Championships and various Regionals. Here’s a list of all prices from the Where’s Wolcott off-season competition:](
(At our upcoming fairs, this will be replaced with a fancy banner with all the products cut out on our team’s vinyl cutter, which is something I have to finish at tonight’s meeting. ;))

The first event we did was the relatively small (about 60k-100k people) Meriden Daffodil Festival in our town in 2007, and again in 2008. Both years we made about $4k over the three days. Between the three upcoming fairs (which have a combined total of over 500,000 people on average), we expect to make somewhere in the five-digit range for our team.

Because these fairs are a large time commitment, everyone on the team - whether student, parent, or mentor - who works at least 20 hours between the three fairs will get a significant travel stipend for any out of state competitions from the profits. The rest will be divided into capital improvements for our team (DROs for our milling machine and a powder-coating oven ;)) and building up our rainy day fund again, which we would like to invest in something with a better-than-rate-of-inflation interest rate (like a bank CD).

And while we’ve tried other fundraisers in the past, like candy bars or Entertainment Books, the students often lose interest after a week or two. However, the students have shown us time and time again that they stay focused and have fun and really enjoy at the BBQ Fundraisers.

All in all, this is the result of a very long business plan of our team this year (along with incorporating as our own 501©3 non-profit), to make it easier to support ourselves in case we ever lose a major sponsor again (We did in 2004 due to company outsourcing, and it nearly bankrupted the team several times over the next few seasons, as well as completely drained the previous rainy day fund).

Here’s a photo of everything all set up at Where’s Wolcott. We are going to have the same for our upcoming fairs, but with large banners across the front and sides of the tent.](](

Wow that looks good!
On a similar note:
We used to do Port-a-pit Chicken fundraiser’s for my local 4-H clubs. It usually involved a little bit of ticket pre-sales work, and then manning the port-a-pit 1 day in a local parking lot. These were generally good for about $1,000 each event. These were the guys we used, and they serve Northern Indiana and south-western Michigan (also known as Michiana).
For those headed to the IRI along 31, you may have accidentally come across these guys…

ZOMG BBQ!!! Hehe I always wanted to say that. I wish my team could do something this successful. Hmm I wonder if BBQ is worth the drive to New England…

Thanks for all the detailed info… sounds very involved and like a lot of work, but a great funding source once you get it in place :slight_smile: Nice work to all of 228 & great to have a resource like the parent who owns it!

I noticed ‘Georgia Red Hots’ on the menu. What is that? Sounds like something to wash down with one of those ice cold drinks.

They are like spicy hot dogs, but with more flavor and about twice the size.

What do a bunch of yankees know about BBQ?

I will admit the cheese & bacon fries sound interesting and the SE&C on a bagel… mmm I’m trying to teach the good ol boys down here about bagels.
They call them stale donuts

Now you got me hungry!


Come up north and see for yourself.

I loved this at wolcott. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend one of these events.

Actually born and breed in upstate New York…
BBQ pretty good up there but the best is here in the Carolina’s :stuck_out_tongue:


The trick is to slow cook it over the hickory wood. :smiley:

Oh, come on. Now you’re making me hungry…

That’s exactly how we do it - minimum 8-12 hours in the hickory wood smoker with apple cider broth to keep the pork moist. Although our pulled pork is closer to Texas/Tennessee-style than Carolina-style, as we don’t use vinegar or any other acidic means to tenderize the pork. Whether this is better than Carolina-style BBQ is up to personal choice, but either way it sure is good!

Just because we’re north of the Mason Dixon line doesn’t mean we don’t know our way around a barbeque. :stuck_out_tongue: