From the Bel Air Downtown Alliance:
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance is gearing up for its 9th Annual MD State BBQ Bash to be held Friday, August 13th from 4pm to 10pm and Saturday, August 14th from 12pm to 10pm on the Mary Risteau (State Office Building) Parking Lot at the corner of Bond and Thomas Streets in Bel Air, MD. This annual event is the BIGGEST and BADDEST barbeque competition in Maryland featuring barbeque grilling teams from up and down the east coast, an amateur Tailgate Challenge, a superior line-up of live music from local musicians and Nashville, a spectacular exhibitor and crafter area, a Little Piggies Fun Zone filled with children’s activities and performances, and awarding winning food provided by a wide array of food vendors from across the Mid-Atlantic. This year, thanks to a generous donation from Jarvis Appliance in Jarrettsville, MD, we will also be raffling off a 53” Viking Grill with cart, cover, and accessories. Tickets will be available at Jarvis Appliance, First Fridays on August 6th, the Outdoor Movies at Shamrock Park on August 6th, and at the MD State BBQ Bash. Each ticket is $10.00 or three tickets for $20.00. The winner will be drawn at 8pm on Saturday, August 14th.
This year, more than 60 barbeque grilling teams from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have signed up to compete for $12,000.00 in prize money as part of the Maryland State BBQ Championship, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). The KCBS is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts and sanctions more than 200 competitions across the country each year. The competition in the Maryland State BBQ Championship is sure to be as hot as the temperatures outside as the barbeque teams prepare their entries in the required categories of chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket. The Dark Horse Saloon’s very own Executive Chef, Frank Campanella, will also be competing this year with his team, Godfather BBQ. The chefs arrive bright and early Friday morning and spend nearly 24 hours preparing their entries before the official judging by a panel of KCBS Certified Judges begins at 12pm on Saturday. The awards are presented on the Main Stage, Saturday at 4pm.
In addition to the Maryland State BBQ Championship, the MD State BBQ Bash offers a Tailgate Challenge for the amateur backyard grillers. This contest is all about ribs and takes place on Friday. The Tailgate Challenge competitors are provided with the ribs and they must set up their own grills to prepare the ribs for judging Friday afternoon. They will be judged on appearance, texture, and taste. Prizes will be awarded on the Main State, Friday at 7pm.
The MD State BBQ Bash features the BEST beer and wine garden in Harford County, as well as, a wide variety of food vendors. Many of the food vendors are award winning KCBS barbeque competition teams and will be featured in the Maryland State BBQ Championship, including Famous Dave’s, which is scheduled to open in Bel Air on August 16th. The Little Piggies Fun Zone features a full schedule of children’s activities, magic shows, face painting, and much more. There will also be nearly 75 crafters and exhibitors selling an assortment of crafts, jewelry, accessories, and services.
NEW this year, is the “Downtown Bel Air at The Bash” and “Sidewalk Bash” which will be featuring our local merchants. “Downtown Bel Air at The Bash” will be a tented display in the Main Area featuring a wide variety of our local shops and boutiques. You can expect to see Tiddlywinks, Tiny Toes, HeartBeat, Lavalier, Charm City Run, and many more. The “Sidewalk Bash” will be a week-long promotion launching on Friday, August 13th and culminating with our monthly Girls Night Out promotion on Thursday, August 19th. Keep your eyes open for the pink balloons with the smiling pig to take advantage of great promotions in Downtown Bel Air.
As always, music is a BIG part of the MD State BBQ Bash. This year, the music kicks off on Friday, August 13th at 4pm with ellen cherry. WXCY 103.7FM is pleased to be sponsoring Nashville recording artists Blaine Larsen and Randy Montana from 7:45pm to 9:45pm on Friday, August 13th. On stage Saturday, August 14th you can see Hectic Red at 2pm, Mama Jama at 5pm, and Bill Kirchen’s Word to the Wise at 8pm.
Complimentary shuttle buses to and from the MD State BBQ Bash will be provided from The John Carroll School and Bel Air High School. The shuttle buses will start running ½ hour before the event and stop running ½ hour after the event on Friday and Saturday. Parking is available throughout Downtown Bel Air, the Hickory Avenue Parking Garage, municipal parking lots, and various on-street parking spaces.
The MD State BBQ Bash is the signature fundraising event for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air. The costs for this event are underwritten by our sponsors and a variety of local businesses. For that, we owe our gratitude to the following businesses for their generosity and support: 2K Marketing, Harford County Office of Tourism, Franklin Square Hospital, Point Breeze Credit Union, Harford Community College, Ward Properties, People’s Bank, PNC Bank, Wild Bill’s Sodas, Famous Dave’s, Boyle Buick, WSMT Insurance, APGFCU, Verizon, The Kelly Group, Harford Mutual Insurance Company, Verizon Wireless, Stark & Keenan, Frito Lay, The Aegis, WXCY 103.7FM, WBAL 1090AM, Piccirilli Group, Harford’s Heart, Jacked Up BBQ, 3 Eyz BBQ, Jarvis Appliance, Benfield Electric, Party Palace, Fidelity Engineering, Atlantic Tractor, Frederick Ward Associates, Bel Air Liquors, and Northeast Beverage Corp. The Bel Air Downtown Alliance would also like to thank the Town of Bel Air, Harford County Government, the Bel Air Police Department, and the Bel Air Department of Public Works for all of their support.