6th Annual Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash to Host 60+ BBQ Pitmasters, Grammy-nominated Bluegrass Entertainers & a Full Day of Family-Friendly Fun

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The Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash anticipates record-breaking numbers on April 18th for the event’s 6th Annual shindig, being held at the Venice Municipal Airport’s festival grounds

Suncoast BBQ Bash

Largest Event in Southwest Florida

Bluegrass and BBQ are a natural fit,” Fisher says, “and at the end of the day, you’ll see all the bands come to the stage for ‘An Appalachian Jam.’ The whole event is like one huge family reunion!

The Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash anticipates record-breaking numbers on April 18th for the event’s 6th Annual shindig, being held at the Venice Municipal Airport’s festival grounds.

The free event will showcase more than 60 world-renowned BBQ Competitors vying for a $20,000 purse. The Bash also hosts a nationally recognized Chili Cook-off, a Dessert Bake-off and, new this year, a Smokin’ Iron Chef Competition, which pits eight teams against one another with the goal of creating delectable dishes from a box of mystery ingredients.

In addition to the cavalcade of great food on tap at the Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash, event goers can attend free concerts from top Bluegrass artists and enjoy a Cornhole Tournament, a Sporting Clays Competition and a variety of family-friendly activities - all great for watching or participating in.

“We’re honored to be not only the largest event of this kind in Southwest Florida, but one of only a few events in the country where both our BBQ, Chili and Iron Chef contest winners get automatic entry to the World Food Championship,” says Don Fisher, founder and organizer of the event.

The BBQ contest is also a qualifier for: the Jack Daniels World BBQ Championship; The American Royale World Series of Barbecue; and Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown. It is also one of the few events of its kind where attendees get to sample Championship BBQ, as only happens when competitors vend as well as compete.

The new Smokin’ Iron Chef contest, modeled after the TV show Iron Chef, features top Pitmaster Dana Hillis and renowned Chef Joe Arvin as advisors/judges. Both men also plan to wow Bash-goers with demonstrations.    

Slated to perform at “An Afternoon of Bluegrass” – a series of free concerts from top bluegrass artists – is the Grammy-nominated The Boxcars as well as top bluegrass chart-toppers and IBMA-award winners The Claire Lynch Band and Flatt Lonesome.

“Bluegrass and BBQ are a natural fit,” Fisher says, “and at the end of the day, you’ll see all the bands come to the stage for ‘An Appalachian Jam.’ The whole event is like one huge family reunion!”

Other events and activities include a Kiss the Pig Contest, antique tractor display, hot air balloon rides and a Kids’ Park featuring face painting, bouncy houses, games, the Shriner Clowns, the friendly dogs of the Police K-9 Units and Sarasota Sheriff’s Office K-9 for Kids therapy dogs.

Finally, a Community Corner will exhibit educational materials from area civic and governmental groups and an Outdoor Living Area will be set up, inviting attendees to learn more about a variety of products and outdoor-living activities.

All this is in addition to the offerings of festive foods, craft-beer vendors and high quality event-related merchandise.

“We’re amazed at the success the event has had over the first five years and we plan to make the event even bigger and better for 2015” Fisher said after expressing wishes of special thanks to everyone who has sponsored, volunteered, participated and attended.

The public is encouraged to join in the Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash’s numerous contests. Preregistration is required. To register, please visit http://www.SuncoastBBQBash.com.

The Suncoast BBQ and Bluegrass Bash is a non-profit event benefitting the Suncoast Children’s Foundation for Handicapped Children.

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Don Fisher
Suncoast BBQ Bash
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