By Jim Hagerty
The Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, in Rockford, has been canceled, the city confirmed Wednesday, July 30.
According to a source who claimed to be a Sam’s Club spokesman, the event was canceled because the “City of Rockford was being uncooperative.”
City staffers did confirm that the event was nixed but said it was because event organizers chose not to follow necessary steps to obtain a permit.
Assistant Operations Manager Kelly Nokes acknowledged that Sam’s was intending to host the barbecue contest in their parking lot at 7151 Walton St., but was requesting the permit application be processed and approved within two weeks. Because applications must be approved by City Council, they involve a 45-day turnaround. Issuing a permit in two weeks was subject to a standard $200 late fee.
“That’s when Sam’s sent the email saying, ‘Thank you for your consideration, but we will not be hosting the event in your city,'” Nokes said of the email stamped July 26. “The city treats all event organizers the same so they all follow the ordinance and the time frame.” But, we do try to work those who can’t.”