Downtown Washington Inc. is finalizing plans for its 11th annual WashMO BBQ, Bikes & Blues Festival, to be held April 26-28 in the historic downtown district.

The three-day, family-oriented event features a professional barbecue competition, live blues music and a motorcycle show on Sunday.

“People can enjoy live music and a full food court throughout the weekend,” said Cassidy Lowery, events and promotions specialist.

“This year’s event also will feature various vendors, a photo booth on Main Street and wine slushies by Adam Puchta Winery,” she said.

Grace’s Place Vintage Market also will be held in conjunction with the festival. About 35 vintage vendors will be set up on the downtown streets.

The hours for both events will be 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Barbecue

WashMO BBQ, Bikes & Blues will kick off Friday, April 26, with the “Anything But” open competition for barbecue teams, in which they can enter a food in the category of sandwiches.

“This is a fun way for the teams to make a dish that is not barbecue and be creative,” said Lowery.

On Saturday, April 27, the barbecue competition, sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, will get underway. Teams will compete for the title of grand champion, along with trophies, ribbons and cash prizes for the winners.

“We have about 35 teams signed up to date, but hope to have 40,” said Lowery. “The teams are coming from all over, including Wisconsin, Texas and even the Netherlands.”

Lowery said over $10,500 in prize money will be given out.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, a barbecue tasting event will be open to the public, in which each team competes for People’s Choice.

The cost is $12 to sample barbecue from the teams if tickets are purchased by April 16. After that, the price increases to $15. People also can purchase a VIP ticket for a 15-minute head start, commemorative cup and complimentary bottle of water.

“There are only 100 VIP tickets available so don’t delay,” said Lowery. Tickets are available online on www.downtownwashmo.org.

A Kids Que competition also will take place Saturday. Advance registration is required.

“We encourage kids in the community to sign up to cook,” said Lowery. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Blues Music

The live music will kick off Friday with Brian Curran from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by Ivas John from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

On Saturday, The Dust Covers will perform from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Next, the Kingdom Brothers will take the stage from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by the Paul Cockrum Trio from 5 to 8 p.m.

The BagLunch Blues Band will close out the festival Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Bike Show

On Sunday, April 28, a motorcycle show will take place from noon to 4 p.m. with special parking for those on two-wheels under the Farmers’ Market.

Lowery said trophies will be awarded in different categories, including People’s Choice.

“We’re hoping for a lot of motorcyclists to show up,” said Lowery. “Last year we had some rain so that kept some of them away.”

Downtown Washington Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and continued vitality of the historic downtown area.

For more information on WashMo BBQ, Bikes & Blues, people may contact Lowery at 636-239-1743 or at events@downtownwashmo.org or visit www.downtownwashmo.org or https://www.facebook.com/downtownwashmo.