“This is going to be an amazing event for Memorial weekend,” said Val Tompkins, who is organizing the Bad to the Bone Car Show. “We’re going to have live blues bands, fabulous barbecue and a variety of beverages. Plus the kids’ activities are free, so this is going to be a great event for families, and we’ll be at the Streets of Brentwood, so if you want to take a break and cool off and do a little shopping or grab some ice cream, you can do that, too.”
Blues, Brews & BBQs, a fundraiser for the Brentwood Police Activities League and other local nonprofit organizations, kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27 with a performance by the Heritage High School Jazz Band. Barbecue contestants will be prepping their meats for Saturday’s competition while the band plays. Visitors are welcome to tour the rows of barbecue pits and chat with pit masters about what it takes to go from amateur to professional. Currently, 31 teams have signed up to compete for a purse of more than $7,000.
While the barbecuing doesn’t get into high gear until Saturday, chefs who think they make the best salsa, dessert and chili will square off in a non-sanctioned contest Friday night, and The Remnantz will take the stage at 7 p.m. to round out the first day of the festival.
Brentwood PAL Board President Jeff Altman said Blues, Brews & BBQs has the potential to become a signature event in Brentwood, creating a summer festival trifecta with sister events CornFest and the Art, Wine and Jazz Festival.
“This is going to be a really exciting event,” Altman said. “As a member of the PAL Board, we don’t just try to create events to raise money. We create events for the whole community to enjoy. And we hope that Blues, Brews & BBQs becomes a Brentwood tradition.”
Saturday’s festivities kick off at 10:30 a.m. with Liberty High School’s sixth annual POPS Concert. For three hours, Liberty’s four bands will take turns serenading guests, and at 2 p.m. the Brentwood Community Band will join the Liberty bands, creating an orchestra of more than 100. Also on Saturday, the Brentwood Blues Band and The Citations will perform.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned contest runs through Saturday afternoon. Winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m. Winners from Saturday’s event will be declared state champions and qualify for nationally sanctioned events later this year.
For Blues, Brews & BBQs chairman Jeff Shults, bringing a national qualifier event to Brentwood is a huge accomplishment. “This is the first-ever state championship event in Contra Costa County,” Shults said. “And we’re really excited to bring it to Brentwood. We have teams coming from all over the West Coast – some teams you might even recognize from shows on the Food Network.”
For those who aren’t ready to battle the professionals, Sunday’s cookoff is a non-sanctioned event similar to February’s BBQ King Cookoff competition held on Super Bowl Sunday. Bands Reverbnation, Blues to Go Band, Beirnacki and the Illusions, The Kevin Moore Band and Dawglips are also scheduled to perform on Sunday.
To encourage families to come out to The Streets for Memorial weekend, Blues, Brews & BBQs organizers have planned a kids’ zone featuring pine derby races, bounce houses, box car races, and a portable bowling alley. Not only will attendees be able to sample barbecue and purchase sodas and water for $1, plenty of free activities will be provided for the little ones to enjoy in the summer sunshine.
For adults, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company will be offering its new Torpedo Extra IPA on tap. Sierra Nevada Business Development Manager Vince Vera said he’s looking forward to debuting this draft on Memorial weekend and getting to know the Brentwood community.
To participate in Blues, Brews & BBQs cookoffs or sign up for the car show, visit www.palbbq.com, contact Schults at 925-890-8296 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.