A bluebird sky, three pitmasters with flaming BBQs, cold brews on ice, and a rocking blues band made a perfect setting to welcome over 100 attendees to The Village Garden Center's first BBQ, Brews and Blues on The River festival last Sunday. It was a festival for the senses – sight, sound, taste, and smell.
Pitmasters Bailey, Cook, and Clark competed for cash prizes with their special and very secret recipes for the dry rub and marinated tri-tip. The beautifully landscaped rear of the garden center was set up with tables, chairs, shade structures, a stage for the band, and offered access to the river for the young ones hunting tiny river creatures. The smell of the tri-tips as they were cooking wafted through the area filling the air with their aromas. If you weren’t hungry when you arrived, one whiff would turn on the appetite.
Prizes were awarded for the best dry rub, and best-marinated tri-tips with voting done by four anonymous judges who based their votes on blind tastings of samples from each pitmaster. The dry rub and marinated tri-tips were judged based on their taste, tenderness, and moisture. People's Choice awards were also given out for the best of each type as voted on by the attendees.
Everyone enjoyed several side dishes and desserts along with the tri-tip tastings offered at each pitmaster's tent where full tri-tip portions could be purchased. Local vendors were on hand with crafts and baked goods for sale, Retro Brew’s coffee truck offered non-alcoholic brews, and a full cocktail bar was set up that served yummy Bloody Marys and other concoctions for imbibing, ice-cold bottled beers, soft drinks, ice tea, and lemonade.
The Blue Raven Blues Band, from Reno, was an amazing four-piece band with a sound deeper and heavier than two guitars, a bass guitar, and drums would typically produce, and the rhythm guitar player played a mean harmonica. Dancers took advantage of the groove being laid down, and many of those sitting in the crowd kept time with their feet as the band played on.
Tami Lynn Edgmon-Bickel, owner of The Village was ecstatic with the turn-out, acknowledging how much effort is involved to put on such an event, but also how worthwhile. It does take a village, as she likes to say. When discussing her plans for next year, she said they may try to hold it on a Saturday and maybe later in the afternoon, rather than early on a Sunday. “It's been a learning process, especially with all the permits that had to be acquired. It's just great to see everyone enjoying themselves, and the day couldn't be more perfect.”
And the winners are -
1st Place - Crook BBQ - David and Berdie Crook
2nd Place - Clarkster’s BBQ - Aaron Clark and Ed Smotherman
3rd Place -- Bailey’s BBQ - Doug Bailey
People’s Choice - Bailey’s