by James Coulter
From Winter Haven to Lake Wales, from Lakeland to Plant City, everyone in Polk County loves barbecue, and most cities host their own competition.
This year, Bartow will be hosting its first ever barbecue event with Blues, Brews, & BBQ to be held on Sat., Jan. 14 from 11 AM – 6 PM in Downtown Bartow.
Hosted by Main Street Bartow, and sponsored by Meeks Real Estate LLC, this barbecue competition will have nearly a dozen vendors and food trucks to line Summerlin and South Florida Avenue.
Participating trucks in this year’s inagural event will be Bad Dog Barbecue, Cultivated Pig, Legacy Craft Barbecue, PJ’s Barbecue, and Uncle Bucky’s Barbecue.
These trucks and vendors will be serving old-fashioned barbecue and competing in the best ribs competition for the chance to win the honorary title of—well—best ribs!
Along with barbecue, attendees can also enjoy live musical performances with local bands and dance troupes performing bluegrass, country, and even clogging!
Front Page Brewery will also be participating in the event, serving sweet craft beer to help wash down the even sweeter barbecue selections.
Johnnie Levin, owner of Front Page Brewery, loves when Downtown Bartow hosts events like this. She loves having her brewery participate in them even more. With a name like “Blues, Brews, and BBQ”, she was sure in to lean into the celebration.
“It is especially fun for us to be a part of this event. There’s great music and fantastic BBQ on deck,” she said. “We are excited to be a part of bringing a BBQ festival back to downtown, especially with the recent opening of our neighbor, White Oak BBQ Supply & Mercantile. We hope that everyone comes out and enjoys a beautiful day with lots of music, BBQ and….of, course, beer made right in the heart of downtown!”
Linda Holcomb, Executive Director of Main Street Bartow, said that attendees can expect, “great music, great food, great entertainment, and a beautiful day to come out and enjoy.”
Blues, Brews, and BBQ was started to provide Bartow its own hometown barbecue competition. Other cities in Polk County host their own, so it was only natural for Bartow to start one for itself, Holcomb said.
“We are always looking to add fun new events and we do a lot of craft type of events, but we have not done a barbecue event,” she explained. “So, we decided to add one to our calendar.”
With good barbecue, music, and vendors, this event is expected to draw in many visitors and locals and hopefully keep them coming back for years to come, Holcomb said.
“We are hoping people come out to enjoy the blues music, the bluegrass music, and the dance groups, along with eating some wonderful barbecue,” she said. “There will also be some local vendors that the community can shop with.”
Blues, Brews, & BBQ will be open free to the public. The event will be located along Summerlin and South Florida Avenue in Downtown Bartow. It will be held on Sat. Jan. 14 from 11 AM – 6PM, with the awards ceremony hosted around 5 PM.
For more information, visit: https://mainstreetbartowfl.com/