My First Time at the Barbecue Festival

BBQ Festival sign on lamp post

Uptown Lexington was all decked out for the Barbecue Festival

When I was first assigned the morning beat of the Lexington Barbecue Festival, I was a little worried. It was October—sure enough, a truly cold day—and besides, no one was going to be out of bed at 8:30 on a Saturday for something as silly as barbecue, right?

Wrong.

To my delight, though I was only a few minutes late to the opening invocation (I’m a slugabed, and took some time to get going Saturday morning), I discovered the 28th annual Lexington Barbecue Festival already in full swing. There were tons of people, from near and far, ready to kick off the festivities bright and early.

As a newbie to the barbecue festival, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Whatever that might have been was far off the mark. The barbecue festival was, instead of a competition between barbecuers like I imagined, more akin to the Dixie Classic Fair, laid out along Lexington’s main drag. Tons of vendor tents, musical stages, and games were crammed together, and crammed with people. And best of all, it was free, though many local organizations used the festival as a chance to collect money for parking, and of course there was plenty of food to spend money on.

a bag of kettle corn

A "small" bag of kettle corn

Five local restaurants joined forces for the actual barbecue part of the barbecue festival. But I wasn’t up for a chopped sandwich for breakfast, so I decided to go for kettle corn instead. Kettle corn is never a bad decision, and it was the perfect salty sweet treat to carry around while browsing the vendors. I also really wanted a funnel cake, but at 6 bucks a pop and 9 am, I decided to pass. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Sweet Dreams Trio

Sweet Dreams Trio softly rocked the crowd before lunch

After looking through some of the vendors (selling everything from barbecue sauce to pig shaped watering cans), we stumbled across Stage Two and a soft jazz band called the Sweet Dreams Trio. It’s not my kind of music, but they were very good. The lead singer had an amazing, deep voice, and the backup band members were great musicians. There was a ton of music to listen to at the festival, but they were a good choice to stop and see play a few songs.

BMX rider jumps ramp

BMX riders entertained the crowds with huge jumps and tricks

My time for festival wandering was running short, so for the last hurrah we stopped by a BMX stunt show. Complete with a racecar ramp and tons of tricks, including a scary jump over ten Lexington kids, the show was lots of fun and a big attention grabber.

Unfortunately I had to leave the Barbecue Festival without seeing and doing all there was to see and do, but my fellow Lexingtonian writers stuck around for the long haul. Their accounts will come shortly. If you follow us on Twitter, you already saw some of the great fun we had.

Also, if you’re interested in supporting our reviews, or just enjoy snappy fashion, check out our hot-off-the-presses t-shirts on sale at the Smallwall Gallery or order them online.

-Heather Morris

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Filed under Davidson County, Lexington, Reviews, Tourist Attractions, Uptown Lexington

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