World-class barbecue chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and more is on the menu this weekend at the 14th annual Maryland State BBQ Bash. The cooking starts early, but the fun is ongoing starting Friday, August 14th from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and again on Saturday, August 15th, from noon to 10 p.m.
The annual street festival is held in the parking lot of the Mary Risteau State Office Building off Bond Street in downtown Bel Air. This is the same location where the Bel Air Farmers’ Market holds their Saturday morning sales. This Saturday the market will still be held on Hays Street between 7 and 11 a.m.
In addition to the 50 plus teams competing for the Maryland State BBQ Championship and thousands of dollars in prize money, there will be more than 40 amateur teams competing in the Maryland State BBQ Bash Tailgate Challenge. Winners of the BBQ Championship have a chance to compete in the annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee as well as the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri.
Great tasting food is only part of Harford County’s premiere event of the summer. It also includes live music, crafts, merchant vendors, and beer and wine gardens. The event is brought to you by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance dedicated to creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air, MD. The event is free to the public and draws an estimated 25,000 guests over the two-day event.
The live music this year includes some great country bands, an old time southern string band sound, rhythm and blues with a brass section, and the guitar picking sound of a local who now records in Nashville. Friday’s line-up begins with Jake & the Burtones with their old time string band music, hailing from the hills of Loudoun County VA, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. followed by the self-described high energy modern country, with a dash of old school country and classic rock, sound of Walk-Ins Welcome from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Finishing off Friday night is the sound of The Cadillac Three from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., with music which has been described as “one of the best sounds in country music right now”.
Saturday sounds continues to heat up with music and entertainment beginning at 2 p.m. Liz Cooper & the Stampede will bring her unique guitar picking, and what has been described as haunting tone and folk/Americana coupled with the band’s indie rock roots from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Finishing out the two-day bash is the rhythm and blues sound of Jr. Cline & the Recliners from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jr. Cline & the Recliners have been invited to perform at the White House, earned multiple awards from the Washington Area Music Association, and have played 12 consecutive years at the Times Square Marriott Marquis on New Year’s Eve.
Don’t miss this great two-day festival full of people, food, music and more. You’ll be talking about it until next year.