News Column

Organizers expect strong turnout for BBQ Bash in Bel Air

August 8, 2014

By David Anderson, The Aegis, Bel Air, Md.

Aug. 08--Organizers of the 13th annual Maryland State BBQ Bash are expecting about 25,000 to 30,000 people to be in downtown Bel Air this weekend to take in barbecue, live music and children's entertainment under clear skies.

"We've got perfect weather [in the forecast], so everything's ready to rock and roll," Erika Quesenbery, executive director of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, said Thursday.

The BBQ Bash, presented by Mars Super Markets and hosted by the Downtown Alliance, will be held on the parking lot of the Mary E. Risteau State Office Building at the intersection of Bond and Thomas streets in Bel Air.

It is scheduled for 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Quesenbery said. Admission is free.

More than 50 teams are expected to compete for $12,500 in prizes and a slot in the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn., and The American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.

An amateur competition will be held Friday, and a competition for professional cookers is scheduled for Saturday.

Cook teams will be set up in parking lots adjacent to the Risteau building lot; Quesenbery noted teams will also set up along Thomas Street this year.

"More people will be able to see what goes into a barbecue competition," she said.

Quesenbery said BBQ Bash visitors will be able to see "how much effort they put into what is more than a hobby, for them it's a passion."

Cookers are coming from states such as Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee,

Visitors can also stop by various food vendors and booths for downtown Bel Air businesses and attractions; children can play in the Little Piggies Fun Zone and visitors can take in live music from the main stage, sponsored by WXCY 103.7 FM.

Quesenbery said the rock band Blackjack Billy will close the show Saturday night.

She said there will also be new children's activities in the Little Piggies Fun Zone, including a visit from the Transformer Optimus Prime.

"We have so many kids that want to participate," she said.

Weather forecasters expect Friday will be sunny with a high temperature of 83 degrees, and there is a slight chance of rain Saturday; the high temperature will be 82 degrees, according to the National Weather Services website.

More information is online on the Barbecue Bash Facebook page,, which Quesenbery said can be updated "on the fly."

"We're really expecting a wonderful turnout in Bel Air," she said.


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Source: Aegis, The (Bel Air, MD)

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