The most important thing for good BBQ is time - low and slow.
—Rick Fenton, Artistic Director
"We got somethin' goin' on," sang Winnipeg musician Romi Mayes. And Winnipeg is going to have somethin' NEW goin' on this summer.
The first ever Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival was announced and Mayes was on hand to give a taste of what's in store.
The festival will be held at Red River Exhibition Park August 17th to 19th with music performed on three stages. This red-hot weekend will attract music lovers and foodies from across the continent.
Rick Fenton is Artistic Director and one of the managing partners along
with Kevin Walters. Fenton remembers attending festivals in the southern
United states where "there was never a separation between food and
music. They were kind of one culture."
Jimmie Vaughan (supplied by BBQ & Blues Festival)
Texas blues legend Jimmie Vaughan
will be headlining the musical portion of the event. Also on the lineup, Little Miss Higgins
, The Sojourners
, Jim Byrnes, Steve Dawson and The Perpetrators.
Local blues legend Big Dave McLean
has been named Winnipeg BBQ & Blues ambassador.
Food lovers will get to see the best BBQ grilling in action, with teams from all over North American competing for grilling supremacy. The competition has been sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS).
To get people in the BBQ mood, the KCBS will offer a half-day certified judges course on May 12th, after which students will be able to judge any KCBS competition around the world.
The festival kicks off on Friday, August 17th with a "Meat Ball", putting a new twist on the traditional Manitoba social. Local restaurants will compete for the title of Burger Warz Champion. A Sunday highlight will be the Gospel Brunch.
Fenton is excited to add one more festival to the busy summer lineup. "The more events there are, the more we feed into each other. The idea of spending that weekend out with your family, and doing something like that becomes more of the essence of the city and what we do."
So what's the most important ingredient in BBQ? According to Fenton, "the most important thing for good BBQ is time - low and slow."
Early bird weekend passes for the festival will go on sale Thursday, April 26th at Ticketmaster.