by Kelli Samson for OLY ARTS
The Lacey Chamber of Commerce hosts the South Sound BBQ Festival as a finale to Lacey Days. This will culminate the celebration of the city’s 50th anniversary. For fans of traditional, slow-cooked barbecue or anyone who ever wanted to be in an eating contest, this event is not to be missed. Now in its seventh year, the South Sound BBQ Festival got its start in the parking lot of Cabela’s. After outgrowing that space, the festival partnered with the city of Lacey and moved to Huntamer Park.
The Lacey Chamber is particularly excited to welcome the Ricardo’s food truck and Veritas Coffee. Returning this year is Chris Lester of The Tailgate BBQ, 2016 winner of the people’s-choice award. Other food vendors represent ice-cream giant Ben and Jerry’s, Fun Foods and the Nisqually Red Wind Casino, to name a few. Many types of businesses join together for the festival, such as the Kevin Hayward Insurance Agency and Tenino’s Muse: Inspired Wedding and Event Design, along with representatives of numerous national chains.
Guests of all ages can participate in a chicken-eating contest sponsored by America’s Credit Union. That begins at 1 p.m. on the main stage. Participants sign up on the day of the festival.
Pitmasters from all over the state will showcase their prowess in the professional cook-off sponsored by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association. Prizes include bragging rights for an entire year, cash, ribbons and the opportunity to move on to bigger competitions in Kansas and Texas.
Lacey hosts a concert series on the main stage all day long, with music ranging from the 1960s through today. Guests can bring blankets and spread out on the lawn. For adults, the festival boasts a beer-and-wine garden from noon to 8 p.m. at the Hub near Ricardo’s Restaurant. Lacey Fire District #3 will make a visit to the kids’ zone with a fire engine, and the Washington National Guard will display a Humvee. Admission and parking are free. Leashed dogs are allowed.
What: South Sound BBQ Festival
Where: Huntamer Park,
618 Woodland Square Loop SE, Lacey
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8
How much: free admission
Learn more: 360-491-4141 | South Sound BBQ Festival