Kentucky State BBQ Festival offers food, music and more
There’s been a misconception that this weekend’s Kentucky State BBQ Festival in Danville is a non-eating event.
Not so. While BBQ competitions are non-eating events, the Kentucky State BBQ Festival is not a competition. And there will be plenty to eat.
Craig Kimmel, owner and operator of FireHouse BBQ, certainly intends to have food on hand for festival-goers.
“We agreed to come to Danville because we love the idea of being able to allow the local community to try real BBQ at its best,” Kimmel explained. “We will be bringing the same BBQ Brisket that won on the ‘BBQ Pit Masters.’ We will also be bringing Florida up there with our Key Lime Coleslaw and Bourbon Baked Beans and Fire House Chili.”
Moe Cason of Des Moines, Iowa, is part of the Ponderosa BBQ Team and last year was a finalist on The Learning Channel’s “BBQ Pitmasters.” He said he is bringing “barbecued meats and fantastic sides for all Kentuckians to enjoy.”
Cason said he agreed to come at festival founder Brad Simmons’ request because Simmons is a friend from the Springfield barbecue contest. “And it was a great opportunity to further my team’s exposure,” Cason noted, adding, “And I hope Kentuckians enjoy the festival and foods from the different pitmasters and (the festival) becomes a success for Danville.”
Shelly Fritsch-Hunt of Desperados Barbecue and Catering of Angola, N.Y., said she begged to come to the Kentucky State BBQ Festival.
“BBQ people love to barbecue every chance they get, and the growing number of festivals and competitions across the country are a testament to that,” Fritsch-Hunt said. “I saw Brad Simmons’ idea as an opportunity for me and some of my favorite barbecue fanatics to get in on the ground floor of a great festival in a beautiful area.”
Fritsch-Hunt persuaded Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe to attend the festival.
“Truthfully, it’s not very hard to get me to a barbecue festival,” Lampe noted. “The people and the food are always excellent, and Kentucky always has the promise of great bourbon — so it was an easy sell.”
Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker of Nashville, Tenn., agreed.
“I love to spread the word about great barbecue, and Brad Simmons is a friend of mine. I knew that he would do a good job and so I agreed (to come). I also like the fact that people are going to be able to eat instead of just watching us compete,” Bringle explained.
In addition to Kimmel’s and Cason’s mouth-watering offerings, there will be a smorgasboard of other eats. Lampe is “bringing a cooler full of meat and some spices.” Bringle said his posse is bringing its 16-foot competition rig.
“We will be cooking whole shoulder to make traditional West Tennessee BBQ sandwiches,” Bringle explained. “If we can get some whole hog by then, then we will do whole hog as well.”
Fritsch-Hunt said she is bringing what barbecue competitors call “the big four”: ribs, brisket, pork and chicken.
“I’m also bringing some fellow pitmasters to lend me a hand. Adrienne Ross, the first female pitboss in Ontario, Canada, and Ellis Leverette of Donnie’s Smokehouse, who has a long list of grand championships across the country, (are coming). Both have been cooking as long as I have — well over a decade,” Fritsch-Hunt said.
And all of the pitmasters hope the first ever Kentucky State BBQ Festival is a fun and memorable experience for everyone. Kimmel said he hopes festival-goers leave thinking “they just had the best barbecue they have ever tasted on their lips. I hope they feel the passion we have.”
“I hope that some will see how much fun we have and the passion that goes into smoking good meat,” she explained. “Maybe a few will even take enough interest to start competing, join one of our many associations, or will just pick up a few tips or tricks to improve their backyard barbecue skills.”
Added Bringle, “I want them to have a better understanding of what great BBQ is. I also want them to feel like they shared in a great experience. We can always use more BBQ enthusiasts. This is about sharing and community.”
Lampe hopes festival attendees realize “BBQ really is a special cuisine that requires a long and loving cooking process.”
“And that the people who cook BBQ really do care about what they serve their guests so that it reflects well on us all,” he added. “BBQ after all is about much more than a plate of food. It’s a whole culture with a long history in America.”
A car show will be held Saturday at the Chase Bank parking lot, 237 W. Main St. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon; the awards ceremony will be at 4 p.m. Registration cost is $20, log on to the festival website for a registration form.
Kids activities will be held throughout the weekend. A petting zoo, face painting, sand art, spin art and other hands-on activities are planned. Several bounce houses and inflatable attractions will be set up; the cost is $5 for an entire day.
The Hogs and Logs Team Triathlon will incorporate eating barbecue, running, swimming and biking for teams of four. Race start time is 10 a.m.; log on to the website or more information.
Schedule of events
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
9:30-10 am.: Pre-register for Hogs and Logs Team Triathlon
10-11 a.m.: Hogs and Logs Team Triathlon
11 a.m.: Kentucky State BBQ Festival opening ceremony
11:30-12:30 p.m.: Big Poppa Stampley, music stage
12:45-1:15 p.m.: Tim Farmer cooking demonstration, Grilled Venison in Red Wine Sauce
1-4 p.m.: People’s Choice, sponsored by Kroger
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Alien Blue, music stage
2:45-3:15 p.m.: Dr. BBQ cooking demo, Real Pork Shoulder BBQ
3:30-4:30 p.m.: Faubush Hill, music stage
4 p.m.: People’s Choice closes
4:45-5:15 p.m.: Dr. BBQ cooking demo, Championship BBQ Ribs
6-7 p.m.: Johnny Roy and the Rubtones, music stage
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Da’ Mudcats, music stage
9-10 a.m.: Little T&A, music stage
10 p.m.: Festival closes
(Daylight Savings Time ends so be sure your
clocks have been set to “fall back”)
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
11 a.m.: Kentucky State BBQ Festival opens
11 a.m.-noon: C.J. Garton, music stage
12:15-12:45 p.m.: Tim Farmer, cooking demo, Wild Turkey from Field to Table
1-2 p.m.: Soupbone, music stage
2:15-2:45 p.m.: Dr. BBQ cooking demo, BBQ Chicken
3-3:30 p.m.: Bean Eating Contest, music stage
3:30-3:45 p.m.: Hog Calling Contest, music stage
4-4:30 p.m. Dr. BBQ cooking demo, Championship Beef Brisket
5 p.m.: Awards and Big Green Egg winner drawing, music stage
5-6 p.m.: Andy and the Rockers, music stage
6 p.m.: Festival closes