Live blues music will combine with a barbecue competition this weekend in Downtown Washington.
The sixth annual Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest was scheduled to open Friday night and run through Saturday.
Festival hours are Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The weather forecast looks great,” said event coordinator Alex Hodschayan of Downtown Washington Inc., sponsor.
“Visitors will be able to enjoy the tunes while trying great foods in the food court and taking in the wonderful smells from the BBQ teams,” he said.
Last year, more than 6,000 people turned out and Hodschayan expects that and more this year.
A total of 50 teams will be competing in the professional barbecue contest. The teams will be set up on the Main and Cedar parking lot, with some teams on Cedar Street, while the entertainment and food court will be set up on the Main and Elm parking lot.
Hodschayan said XBox One will be set up both days on Main Street for children and adults alike to test their skills on the new gaming platform.
Also new, a mechanical bull that those 18 and older can ride for $5, he said.
The musical lineup is the same as last year with Brian Curran Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by the BagLunch Blues Band from 7 to 10 p.m.
On Saturday, the Paul Cockrum Trio will perform from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by Kingdom Brothers, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The barbecue teams will compete for the title of grand champion, along with trophies, ribbons and cash prizes. A slate of 63 judges will select the winners.
The competition, sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, is not open to the public, but people can watch the teams as they cook, Hodschayan said.
On Friday night, an “Anything But” side competition for the teams was planned, in which they can enter any food item cooked on a grill that does not include meat as the main ingredient.
A People’s Choice event will again take place Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., which is open to the public.
“For only $7, people can enjoy a 1-ounce sample of pork from each team and then vote for their favorite,” said Hodschayan. He said the amount of meat is limited for the People’s Choice, so people should get there early.
The barbecue awards will be presented at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday with the event wrapping up about 5 p.m.
Formerly known as the Cruise With the Blues, the event was expanded six years ago to include the professional barbecue competition, along with live blues music.