Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest

This is the 4th year that Washington, Missouri has hosted the Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest and the first that we have attended.  I have actually never been to a BBQ competition before and did not know what to expect, other than a lot of BBQ!

 Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest

The event takes place in downtown Washington, MO right on Main Street next to the Washington Farmer’s Market.  It is a Friday & Saturday festival, though we only attended Saturday, specifically for the People’s Choice competition from 2-4 pm.  There was a large crowd when we arrived and the event was well-attended and lively all day.  The initial line to purchase tickets, which were $7 per person this year, was very long but moved quite quickly. 

They had 50 BBQ tents set-up for the competitors.  Some of the BBQ entrants were from well-known and established BBQ restaurants, others were professional BBQ competitors (this event was an official Kansas City BBQ Society competition) and others seemed like just a bunch of guys having fun.

 Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest
BBQ team wore crazy wigs & had a disco ball

The BBQ was fairly good at some, and just okay at others.  Honestly I skipped a few as they did not look very appealing.  I did not find any of the BBQ to be exceptional, but none of it was terrible either.  Other than one stand that offered salmon, it seemed that everyone else offer pulled pork.  They serve it in small cups, which surprised me as I expected larger and more varied portions; that said no one checked your tickets, and there were no limits on how many times you could taste (none enforced anyway).

 Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest
Samples of BBQ pulled pork

We actually purchased lunch from their food court of tents, next to the band.  They offered typical festival type food (we got a hamburger & brat), but there was also a Mexican tent, and the farmers market was open well past the 2pm time it usually closes.  I actually had a great cupcake from the farmers market, and it was only $1!

 Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest
The main entrance to the event

The event featured live music all day, which was held in a covered tent with plenty of places to sit.  The music was loud, but standing outside the tent (which still had a good view) seemed better. 

 Washington, MO: Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest
Live music was featured all day
For my first BBQ competition, and actually my first food festival, this was a decent choice.  If you are a big fan of BBQ or pulled pork, this is probably a good festival to check out next year!

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