Alper’s fires up the grill for 10th annual Karmacue

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Alper’s fires up the grill for 10th annual Karmacue
A team at last year's Karmacue. (Courtesy of Alper's on Facebook)

Adam Novick will readily admit that he isn’t the best barbeque chef in the world or even Port Washington. But when he was thinking of ways to raise money for the Community Chest of Port Washington, he decided on a barbeque.

“I mean, who doesn’t love barbeque?” he said.

This year will mark the 10th year of Karmaque, a cook-off hosted by Alper’s Hardware store, where Novick works.

The event will be held on May 20 from noon to 4 p.m. on Irma Avenue, adjacent to the hardware store’s location at 81 Main St.

The store has been a staple of Port Washington for more than a century. Novick’s great-grandfather founded the store in 1911. But Novick wanted a way to get more involved with the community and settled on a fundraiser for the Community Chest.

“We had done fundraising before, but we wanted to be more proactive in raising money,” Novick said. “They help us out, and we give them a nice check each year.”

He said that previous Karmacues have raised more than $55,000 for the organization.

Karmacue pits eight amateur teams against one another to be named the festival’s best barbeque. Teams consist of friends, family members, and coworkers, almost all of whom are from the Port area. The cooks get there early in the morning to prepare ribs and chicken for a panel of judges who will select one team as the barbeque champion of Port Washington.

In the ten years since the street festival began, Novick said that it has become a tradition for some teams.

“It becomes like a little reunion for these teams each year,” Novick said. “And I don’t have a favorite. I’m just thankful that they put so much time into it.”

Attendees will be able to purchase a portion of two ribs for $3. Guests can also vote on the different ribs to select the people’s champion.

For those not interested in barbeque, other restaurants will be taking part, including Bareburger, Yummy Gyro, Schmear Bakery and Ralph’s Italian Ices. The restaurants will donate all proceeds to the Community Chest.

Though barbeque is the focus of the event, Novick said there will be other activities. Soulshine Art Studio and Initial Stop will provide crafts for kids, and live music will be performed throughout the day by HatTrixx, Chuck Idol and Friends, and Bach2Rock.

Novick encourages attendees to get there early, as in past years the ribs have sold out by the end.

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