Calera Main Street hosts third annual Slider Showdown – Shelby County Reporter

Calera Main Street hosts the third annual Slider Showdown

Published on Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 6:06 PM

By MACKENZEE SIMMS | Staff Writer

CALERA – Featuring live music, local vendors and food trucks, Calera Main Street celebrated the first Friday in June with the third annual Slider Showdown on Friday, June 7 in the Calera Courtyard.

Presented by sponsors Burton Campers and Shelby County Newsmedia Inc., the theme of the First Friday in June was Backyard Bash.

Calera Main Street Director Jackie Batson said the idea behind the Backyard Bash was to recreate the atmosphere of a classic summer block party.

“Since it’s June, it’s time to start summer,” Batson said. “(The Backyard Bash) just celebrates all things outdoors.”

And which Backyard Bash is complete with an old-fashioned slider?

In addition to the live music and vendors, this first Friday also featured the third annual Slider Showdown, a slider competition between the food trucks present.

According to Batson, each food truck that attends First Friday prepares an entry for the slider competition. Because the food trucks represent a wide range of cuisines, each slider in the competition is unique.

“It’s really fun because everyone has a different idea of ​​what they want to put on their menu as a slider,” Batson said. “We had very different sliders to judge with, which was a lot of fun.”

The competition’s four judges were Alec Etheredge of SCNI, Alfa insurance agent Candace Byers, Charles Anderson and Jackie Batson of Main Street.

During the competition, the four judges sat at a booth facing away from the food trucks, so the judges did not know which food truck delivered which slider. A volunteer runner retrieved the slider from the food truck and brought it to the table.

First, the judges assessed the appearance of the slider on the plate. After their first impressions, the runner cut the slider into four parts so that each judge could taste it. As they ate, the judges took notes on the overall taste and creativity of the dish.

At the end of the competition, Momo’s Cajun Eats took victory in the slider contest, while Battle Axe’s Feast won the love of the masses and claimed the People’s Choice Award.

Additionally, First Friday attendees may have noticed a new addition to the Calera Courtyard: a new playground. Although still under construction, the playground did not hinder the First Friday festivities and gave residents a first impression of what they could expect from the playground when it was completed.

Installing the playground itself is just part of a larger project that includes concrete work to run the power underground, erecting a fence and laying protective grass.

“There will be little pieces revealed here and there,” Batson said. “We hope to have the playground open by the end of the summer.”

Guests on the next First Friday will be able to see this progress as construction continues.

The next episode of Calera’s First Friday will be unlike any other. The First Friday of July takes place on Thursday, July 4 and features food trucks, bounce houses and a fireworks show.