By MELINDA MINTON

Slow-cooked brisket, pulled pork, ribs; dry-rubbed or melting-honey barbecue falling off the bone and onto a fresh bun — It’s summer and the South Sound BBQ Festival is here once again. Enjoy face-painting, food demonstrations, free kids’ activities and an adults-only beer-and-wine garden. This cook-off, now in its ninth year, is sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association. It’ll feature up to 25 competitors vying for the grand prize. A full day of judging follows a day of preparation for the chefs. Patrons may purchase two-dollar tickets in order to sample the culinary creations.

This year’s event boasts an assortment of food and non-food vendors from around the South Sound, plus an eating contest and live entertainment. Anticipated food vendors include The Cattleman, Cinco de Mayo Fruits & More, Grandville’s BBQ Sauces, Hula Girl Ice Cream & Desserts, Irishman Enterprises Corn Dogs of the World, Lacey Chamber Brat Booth, Lind’s Concessions, Nisqually Red Wind Casino, O.G.’s Smokehouse BBQ, The Old Red Barn Popping Company, Sno to Go, South Bay Dickerson’s BBQ, The Tailgate BBQ and UT Coffee Trailer.  

An annual favorite is the chicken-wing-eating contest, sponsored each year by America’s Credit Union. There’s a teen competition and a category for adults. What could be better than watching participants get competitive with wings? In fact, the festival offers plenty of fun for children of all ages. Check out the visiting artillery vehicle; a Lacey fire truck; live, musical entertainment; outdoor bouncy castles and a huge craft booth sponsored by Hands On Children’s Museum.

Intercity Transit will provide free bus rides to festival-goers. Candlewood Suites in Lacey is offering a 10% discount for those wishing to stay overnight and thereby make it a weekend.

WHAT

South Sound BBQ Festival

WHERE

Huntamer Park,

629 Woodland Square Loop SE, Lacey

WHEN

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, July 13

Festival Hours: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Beer Garden Hours: Noon – 8 p.m.

HOW MUCH

Free

LEARN MORE

laceysschamber.com