The local summer festival season kicks off this week with the two-day Buckeye BBQ Fest.
“People really appreciate that opportunity to shake off their winter blues with a little blues, brews and BBQ,” said Art Mathews, event chairman.
This year’s Buckeye BBQ festival will be held on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester Twp.. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday and noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday.
As many as 16 barbecue vendors will be on-site, serving brisket, pulled pork, ribs and chicken. Other vendors will include dessert vendors, service providers and charitable organizations. About 70 vendors are expected throughout the festival.
There will also be nearly 100 kegs with 17 different flavors of beer. About six different flavors of wine will be served.
A new beer garden at this year’s event will feature several local breweries, including DogBerry Brewing, FigLeaf Brewing Co. and Municipal Brew Works.
Buckeye BBQ Fest has again teamed up with the Cincy Blues Society to showcase 11 blues acts. The headliner for Friday night is the Noah Wotherspoon Band from 9:30 to 11 p.m. On Saturday, Johnny Fink and The Intrusion is the headlining act from 9:15 to 11 p.m. The Beaumonts will also perform the band’s final concert at the Buckeye BBQ Fest on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Hauser Air Kid Zone will expand this year, offering inflatable rides and games on Friday and Saturday, as well as face painting and caricature drawings. There will be a 12-animal petting zoo on Saturday from noon to 8:30 p.m.
Another highlight both days is the Children’s Fire Safety House from the West Chester Fire Department. Children will learn how to enter, escape and survive in a smoke-filled, or fire scenario.
Another popular aspect of the festival is the Extermital Car Show presented by Fiehrer Motors Inc. On Friday night, there will be 35 “club cars” in an open car show, featuring Mustangs, Corvettes and Camaros. Not a cruise-in, this invitation-only event showcases pre-registered vehicles.
On Saturday, there will be a judged, classic car show (vehicles from the 1950s to 1970s) showcasing muscle cars, sports cars and original restores.
Proceeds from the event benefit The Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty and will go back into the local community to organizations like Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty, EDGE Teen Center, One Way Farm Children’s Home, Reach Out Lakota, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, among others.
— — —
HOW TO GO
WHAT: Buckeye BBQ Fest
WHERE: The Square @ Union Centre, 9285 Centre Pointe Drive, West Chester
WHEN: Friday, May 18, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday, May 19, from noon to 11 p.m.
COST: $5 per person per day; free for children younger than 12. Food and beverage items available for purchase.
— — —
FRIDAY, MAY 18
5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. – Chris Yakopcic
6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. – The Beaumonts
8 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. – The SoulFixers
9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. – Noah Wotherspoon Band
SATURDAY, MAY 19
12 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. – Cheryl & Shorty Show
1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Ricky Nye Inc.
2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Leroy Ellington’s Sacred Hearts
4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Troubled Waters Band
6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – The Tempted Souls Band
7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Ralph and the Rhythm Hounds
9:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. – Johnny Fink and The Intrusion