Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival named in top 10 by

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014


The 20,000 plus folks who come to the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival have known it for a long, long time…but this year did its own research and found the Tryon, N.C., event to be among the Top 10 Barbecue Festivals in the country. And, according to Jim Tabb— Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge and founder of the Festival, Thrillist did a good job in making their selections. “There is no doubt they had high criteria, because the other nine chosen are all top-notch,” he said.
The full list of 10 events includes the following: International Bar-B-Q Festival (Ownesboro, Ky.); Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (Memphis, Tenn.); Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (New York, N.Y.); Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival (Tryon, N.C.); Safeway Barbecue Battle (Washington, DC); Texas Monthly BBQ Festival (TMBBQ) – (Austin, Texas); Joe’s Kansas City Open Contest (Kansas City, Mo.); Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue (Lynchburg, Tenn.); World championship Bar-B-Que Contest (Houston, Texas); Hogs for Cause (New Orleans, La.).
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In naming the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival, Thrillist mentions the quality of the competition and “sampling everyone’s food.” They sum it up for the reader with these words: “Bottom line: You’ll be sampling some of the best whole-hog cooking in the country, with a beautiful Appalachian Mountain backdrop.”
“Well, they got that mostly right,” said Mike Karaman, Festival Chair. “No doubt we’re one of the top sanctioned contests, and no doubt we’ve got the greatest setting in the world here at the foot of Warrior Mountain in Tryon.
But we don’t want folks to be misled…they don’t get to sample all the cook teams’ barbecue – not all of them are set up for feeding the public.
ach year we select a few of them to be vendors to the public…and we guarantee that guests at our festival get a real taste of what good barbecue is all about from our barbecue vendors.” provides daily “must-have” recommendations (via emails aimed mainly at younger men) about what to eat and drink as well as what to wear to online subscribers in 20 major American markets and in London.
This year’s Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14, at Harmon Field in Tryon, N.C. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. both days.
Karaman reminds the public that from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. admission is free on Friday, again this year. “This promotion has been so well received, we’re doing it again,” he said. “Everybody gets in free on Friday from the time the gates open at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and they can stay as long as they wish.”
Kid’s Ride Bracelets will be available again this year—that is, unlimited rides from the time the gates open until 4 p.m. and from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.
There will be great music on two stages both days and an outstanding juried craft fair. Other special attractions include a return visit by the “Great American BBQ Tour,” which travels all across the country to BBQ competitions and festivals providing entertaining and informative outdoor cooking and cooking product demonstrations.
And the Nationwide – Dusenbury Insurance Agency will showcase its NASCAR connection by bringing its show car and a racing simulator. Guests will get to check out a racer up close and even enjoy the thrill of taking a turn around a NASCAR racetrack in the simulator on both Friday and Saturday. The Dusenburg Agency is sponsoring the Classic Car Show on Saturday, which is expected to include 200 or more vintage cars and trucks.
The Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival is produced by the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the Festival help support Chamber operations and the Carolina Foothills Chamber Foundation which annually distributes grants to a variety of charitable and civic programs.
As always the Festival committee needs hundreds of volunteers (who work a four-hour shift and can get in free both days – not to mention free t-shirt, free bottle of water, and free BBQ Bucks). Recruiting is still under way.
For more information on volunteering or any aspect of the Festival, visit or call 828-859-RIBS.

– article submitted
by Brenda Bradshaw

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