Bluegrass BBQ Fest Kicks Off

For its third year, the Bluegrass BBQ Fest will return to the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington on June 7-8 to launch the summer season with a two-day community celebration of the region’s tastiest barbecue.

The growing festival attracts the area’s top pitmasters to showcase their culinary talents, along with a full accompaniment of musical entertainment, family activities and craft beer and bourbon selections. This year’s star barbecue performers will include Staxx BBQ, J. Render’s, City Barbecue, Red State, Thai barbecue by Jasmine Rice, Edley’s, Kentucky Strong and more. To cool down the palate, ice cream and Italian ice will be scooped on site by dessert sellers including Crank & Boom, Sav’s Chill and Repicci’s.

This year’s lineup of musical talent highlights headliners such as international blues legend Tee Dee Young and local rising stars Joslyn and the Sweet Compression Music. The festival offers something for everyone, with a rich variety of blues, bluegrass, country, rockabilly and rock ‘n roll artists set to take the stage. Short & Company, one of the top competitors in the recent Memphis Blues Competition, will share their talents with the Bluegrass BBQ Fest crowd, and attendees can also catch a star in the making as sweetheart country music artist Phoebe White kicks off the schedule on Saturday. Additional popular acts that are sure to please include Lexington-based Maggie Lander, Cincinnati-based Buffalo Wabs & Price Hill Hustle, American Idol alum Lauren Mink, Grits & Soul and Restless Leg String Band.

Amateurs will also contend for bragging rights by cooking up their best Big Green Egg Q for experts and local celebrities in this year’s backyard pitmaster competition. For more details on the event or to find out how to participate or compete, check the festival’s website,, or contact [email protected] or Smiley Pete Publishing at 859-266-6537.

Bluegrass BBQ Fest is founded and produced by Smiley Pete Publishing, an independent, Lexington-based publishing company producing Chevy Chaser, Southsider and Business Lexington magazines and Other Smiley Pete Publishing events include Lexington Burger Week, Crave Taco Week, Crave Lexington and Lexington Pizza Week.

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