Behind The Testicle Festival

Do what?


Rocky Mountain oysters or — as the Tonto Apache Tribe billed them — testicles.

One first-time connoisseur captured what many were thinking, “It feels morally wrong, but it tastes good.”

Despite that, plenty of people came to enjoy the delicacy.

Mike Kitts, the Hospitality Director for the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, ordered 150 pounds of the Rocky Mountain oysters from ranches in Colorado for the third annual Testicle Festival held on Saturday, Sept. 30.

“It’s the tribe’s idea,” he said of the event. “They did it when I first got here in 2004, then they quit, but the tribe wanted it to come back.”

This year, the event also featured a hot and intense barbecue competition.

The Cow Tippin’ B-B-Que Team said it’s a lifestyle, these barbecue competitions.

“I’ll probably do eight competitions this year,” said the leader of the group — he wouldn’t give his name. “I did one that had a $35,000 purse.”

He said it’s expensive to participate in a competition.

“It’s a $350 entrance fee, the rig and supplies cost a lot — all told a weekend could end up being $1,000,” he said.

It’s also a time commitment.

The Cow Tippin’ crew started the smoking process by 6 a.m. that morning.

In order to qualify for the grand prize, they had to smoke chicken, pork, ribs and brisket.

The teams also had to have their meats ready to present within a 10-minute window.

“The chicken is up at noon,” said the Cow Tippin’ crew. “You can deliver your meat five minutes before or four minutes and 50 seconds after the time it’s due.”

He said ribs were due at 12:30, pork at 1:00 and brisket at 1:30.

Sponsored by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the competition at the casino drew 30 different competitors from as far away as Iowa.

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