Jody Light

This year’s Almost Heaven BBQ Bash will feature 44 teams from several states

BUCKHANNON – The 2024 Almost Heaven BBQ Bash will have more teams competing than in any previous year and is expanding to three days with a ‘sneak peek’ on Thursday, June 13.

Jody Light, the president of the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash, attended the Upshur County Commission meeting on June 6 to go over the schedule for the upcoming BBQ Bash.

“We have 32 master teams, which is an increase from last year, and we have 12 backyard teams,” Light told the commission. “We have close to 60 judges, so there are probably people coming to town from close to 20 different states. Of the 32 master teams, 16 are brand new and have never been here — some of them have never been in West Virginia, much less Buckhannon. The backyard teams have five brand new teams, and that’s a really big percentage that are brand new, so people from other places are hearing about our event, and we’re excited about that.”

This year’s event will feature five barbeque vendors for visitors to enjoy, as well as 10 other food vendors for guests who want some variety.

“We have several vendors that have been coming for several years,” Light said. “We also have four new ones, including Rex’s Calzones, who had to step out last year, but they’re back, and then we have JoJo’s Tacos. Some people are not big barbecue fans, or you might not want that for three meals a day for two days, so we wanted to have a lot of variety.”

The Bash has expanded to three days: June 13, 14 and 15.

“We call it sneak peek opening on Thursday,” Light said. “We hope it’ll kick it up this year. That will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday (June 13). All the food vendors will be open, a couple of the crafters will be open, and we’ll have entertainment.”

There will also be a new event offered Thursday at Woody’s Bowling Center.

“Woody’s Bowling Center approached us and wanted to partner, and we appreciate that, so on Thursday evening, we’ll have a bowling and pool tournament starting at 6 p.m.,” Light said. “You can call in advance and sign up or just show up. They will have some cash prizes, and we decided to have some trophies for the winners, so hopefully that’ll be the start of something that we can do again.”

The event’s headquarters will be in the old Fox’s Pizza location, across from the post office.

“It’s convenient there — if there are lost children, lost parents, lost phones, you can find us there,” Light said. “You can buy some of our lapel pins and our shirts, things like that, or you can come in and just say hello.”

The 2025 BBQ Bash will be the event’s 10th anniversary, and Light asked everyone to look forward to the milestone.

“We’re really excited,” she told the commission. “It will be over the Friday the 13th, but we’re going to make that a lucky Friday the 13th next year.”

A schedule of events is included below, and updates about the event can be found on the Almost Heaven BBQ Facebook page.

Thursday, June 13

  • 9 a.m. – Food Vendors & BBQ Teams Arrive at Jawbone Park
  • 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – BBQ Bash Preview – Lincoln Co Cloggers, Gilbert’s Wonder World, Food Vendors, Activities and Entertainment at Jawbone Park
  • 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Brokz Beer Garden (must be 21 to enter – ID required) at Jawbone Park
  • 6 p.m. Bowling and Pool Tournament at Woody’s Bowling Center

Friday, June 14

  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. -BBQ and Food Vendors Open at Jawbone Park
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Gift Shop Opens, Unique Artists and Craft Vendors at Jawbone Park
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Music by DJ Salty Dog
  • Noon to 9 p.m. – Brokz Beer Garden (must be 21 to enter – ID required) at Jawbone Park
  • Starting at Noon – Laurel Fork Falconry, Gilberts World of Wonder, Dime Toss, Sand Art at Jawbone Park
  • 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Cake & Cupcake Walks at Jawbone Park
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Live Music with the Rox Band of WV at Jawbone Park

Saturday, June 15

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Almost Heaven Car Cruise-In
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. – BBQ & Food Vendors Open at Jawbone Park
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. -Gift Shop Opens, Unique Artists & Craft Vendors at Jawbone Park
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Music by DJ Salty Dog
  • Noon to 9 p.m. – Brokz Beer Garden (must be 21 to enter – ID required) at Jawbone Park
  • Starting at Noon – Laurel Fork Falconry, Gilberts World of Wonder, Dime Toss, Art at Jawbone Park
  • 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Cake and Cupcake Walks at Jawbone Park
  • 4:30 p.m. – BBQ Award Ceremony at Jawbone Park
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Live Music with Ryan Cain and The Ables at Jawbone Park

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