BUCKHANNON – The Almost Heaven BBQ Bash will welcome more than a dozen food vendors are plenty of activities for the whole family as downtown Buckhannon becomes filled with the aroma of sizzling meat June 16-17.
This year’s event will also feature a sneak peek at the weekend by offering some barbeque Thursday evening, June 15, as well.
Jody Light, president of the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Board of Directors, attended the June 1 Buckhannon City Council meeting to lay out the schedule for the June 16 and June 17 event.
“I have spoken to all 14 food vendors, so we are going to set up with the food vendors starting 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, June 15,” Light said. “Hopefully they will be set up with the city’s assistance by noon and inspected by the Health Department around 2 p.m. That allows us to have almost all the food vendors open for dinner on Thursday evening, and we hope folks will come down and enjoy some barbecue. We plan on just keeping it small, but from 4 to 8 p.m., most of the food vendors will be open.”
The full event kicks off Friday and continues Saturday from 11 to 8 p.m. each day.
“We have 42 barbecue teams — 28 pro, 14 backyard — and we have 50 certified barbecue judges coming from 14 states,” Light said. “We’re doing what we want to do, which is putting heads in beds.”
The food vendors will also provide an eclectic array of offerings on top of the barbecue.
“We have 14 food vendors, including four new ones, so for the first time we’ll have hot and cold and blended coffee drinks and expresso,” Light said. “We have someone doing fresh, hot donuts to order and several other things, so we’re excited about that. We also have at least 15 artists and crafters at Stockert, both inside the gym and outside.”
A family fun area will be found at Jawbone Park, on the side closest to the city’s Public Safety building.
“We provide free sand art to all the kids,” Light said. “We have hundreds of shapes and models, and we have folks that will work with them. We have ‘Gilbert’s World of Wonder,’ and if you haven’t seen him, he is amazing. He does balloon artistry, but it’s not like any other balloon person you’ve seen before.”
The child participants will also have a special cupcake walk, just for them.
“We’ve done cake walks in the past and they were very successful, so we decided to get the kids more involved with cupcake walks,” Light said. “One of our vendors, ‘Taste and See,’ is donating a dozen or two cupcakes, so the kids will get to take their little ticket over to her booth and take a cupcake of their choice — and she has a nice selection.”
The family fun area will also feature face painting and the lot in front of Sweet A Licious will have inflatables.
“One thing we’re really, really excited about is the ‘Dino-Roar Tour Show,’” Light said. “It’s not a cheap thing and we didn’t have a sponsor, but we just decided we needed to do that. They’re from Ohio and they will end on Friday, but they’re doing three shows for free.”
“We have also developed our own deck of playing cards currently on sale for $10 a deck,” Light said. “There are 24 Buckhannon businesses and five Lewis County businesses, and they all have different ads and discounts. It’s our way of earning some money and promoting our local businesses.”