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Finger lickin’ good: WNY BBQ Fest commences next weekend

A backyard BBQ session on an escalated scale; the Fairgrounds of Hamburg is the backyard to the WNY BBQ Fest that commences the weekend of Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30.

Presented by Patchin Fire Co. of Boston, this festival is a barbecue competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and the New England Barbecue Society.

The KCBS is the largest BBQ sanctioning body in the world. Yes, the world. This is far from a hum-drum local competition with minor prizes and only a plaque for effort. It is a high-profile three day event. The top winners will receive trophies and there is a $1,500 dollar prize.

“It draws competitors from all over the country,” said coordinating chairman Jim Pluta. They expect about 50 competitors coming from various places; Kansas City, the Carolinas and Canada, just to name a few. It’s similar to the cook-off shows on channels such as Food Network, he said. There will be two specific competitive events: The KCBS will have a sanctioned barbecue contest while the NEBS will hold a sanctioned grilling contest.

Attendees will be entertained with a multitude of specialties. Not only will they be able to sample the barbecue delicacies from the competitors, but there will be further food vendors, music, rides and a classic car show.

Hit N Run, Buffalo’s acclaimed premier party band, Friday, June 28. On Saturday, June 29 there will be multiple performances from Black Widow, 2Leftboots, PassionWorks, and West of the Mark. The final day of the festival there will be two performances: Dave Viterna, and Mick Hayes.

For those who want to take advantage and indulge in a Hamburg getaway, there are optional RV spots available for $25 per night; sewer, water, electric and shower facilities are available.

There will also be a classic car cruise from noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. It is open to all makes and models. These eye candy cars will give you the feeling that you hit a time warp and traveled back to the days of “the Fonz” starting the jukebox with his arm, or Mia and Vincent’s dinner date in Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”

What’s the biggest draw to the WNY BBQ Fest?

“The good barbecue and the good music. We also are providing for the families: bounce houses, slides and obstacle courses,” said Pluta. There has not been a large emphasis on family activities in the past, but after taking attendee feedback into consideration, the coordinating team has made the event more available and affordable for the family.

Dinosaur BBQ is also involved as a vendor for the fest, which for many is a draw itself.

It is $5 admission (free for 12 and under) and free parking all weekend. Saturday, June 29 there will be a “Taste of BBQ” event; competitors will have their barbecue to sample. Each sample is one ticket; 10 tickets can be purchased for $20.

Check the website wnybbqfest.com for further details.
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