September 19, 2018


The fifth anniversary celebration of the Tri City BBQ Fest will be held this Friday and Saturday.

The non-profit event is hosted by the local Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County (CDC), with support from the Denison Tourism Board and the City of Denison.

This Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS)-sanctioned event will once again welcome competitors from Omaha, Des Moines, Sioux City and beyond.

“It has been amazing to watch this event grow over five consecutive years,” said Evan Blakley, executive director of the CDC. “The festival brings a fun-filled BBQ rivalry to our community and allows visitors to experience our small-town hospitality, with live music, fantastic food and Iowa-brewed beers.”

The festival is free to attend and features fun for the whole family, including plenty of BBQ and other food vendors with kid-friendly treats, the Iowa Craft Beer Tent, the Hog-Wild Car Show, a petting zoo with pony rides and inflatable fun for kids. Headlining this year’s lineup of nine artists from around the nation is country singer/songwriter Chris Lane.

Up to 40 BBQ competitors will vie for $11,000 in prizes and awards, with one being named Grand Champion, and one residing in the Tri-City area taking home the coveted Best Metro award. While competitors cook for expert judges, attendees can participate in judging entries during the People’s Choice Competition at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

New this year, up to 25 entries will be accepted for the first-ever amateur cookoff — a “backyard BBQ”-style event. This feature will give local cooks who have not yet participated in a KCBS event the opportunity to try their hand at competition. Members of the public can judge the competition, which will be held at Friday evening, by purchasing one of a limited number of exclusive wristbands for $12.

A full schedule of events, times and locations can be found online at