Time to get your blues on.
Labor Day weekend is less than a month away, and plans are underway for Bedford’s annual Blues and BBQ Festival.
The fun takes place across from the Bedford City Hall complex, 1951 L. Don Dodson Drive on Sept. 2-4. Advance tickets range in price from $7 for general admission to $210 for a tent party table and can be purchased online
Jam to the funky New Orleans sounds of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and Dr. John, who are among this year’s headliners performing on two stages. Dr. John, a six-time Grammy winner, is bringing his mix of boogie-woogie and rock ’n’ roll to the festival for the first time.
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Other musical highlights include 2009 female blues vocalist of the year Janiva Magness and Tommy Castro and the Painkillers.
Listening to the blues isn’t complete without lots of good barbecue on hand, and pros and amateurs get to show off their skills in competitions during the weekend.
On Sept. 2, amateurs take center stage during the Foreman’s Backyard BBQ competition where they can earn cash and trophies in competitions using off-the-rack mass market grills to cook up ribs and chicken, no competition smokers allowed. Participants will compete using modified Kansas City Barbecue Society rules.
Festival visitors can help judge the entries for the best barbecue chefs at the Backyard Judges Experience.
On Sept. 3-4, the pros take center stage when pit masters from all over the world compete in a Kansas City Barbecue Society competition. Bedford’s cook-offs have been featured on reality television shows such as BBQ Pitmasters.
Best of all, festival attendees can sample the best the pit masters have to offer during the People’s Choice Event and Battle of the BBQ from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 3-4.
Bedford’s Blues and BBQ Festival began 16 years ago. It was shelved for a time during a tax rollback but was brought back in 2009, said Bob Hill, a spokesman for the event.
Mayor Jim Griffin said the festival is a great way to highlight what Bedford has to offer for residents and visitors.
“The Bedford Bluesfest continues to be a spectacular event where we showcase our great city to thousands of guests and visitors, hear great blues music and enjoy tremendous barbecue,” he said. “Our city is very proud to put on this event every year.”