Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend of blues, barbecues and big trucks

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International cooking instructor and master barbecue teacher Jim Johnson explains the best way to prepare beef brisket to passersby in the barbecue cook-off area.

JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRES Enlarge Image

International cooking instructor and master barbecue teacher Jim Johnson explains the best way to prepare beef brisket to passersby in the barbecue cook-off area.

What do trucks, barbecue and blues music have in common? Nothing, unless you're at the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival.

The festival is in its second year, and like last year takes place at the Red River Exhibition Park. The festival has three different parts, Jodi Johnson, communications and marketing manager for the Red River Exhibition, said. One is the barbecue section, which has different vendors as well as a barbecue competition with 26 Canadian competitors, a blues festival on three different stages, and a semi-truck show and shine. Though the three aren't really related, Johnson said they work together at the venue.

"There isn't a blues music festival in Winnipeg, and barbecue, it's very southern, so why not bring it up here?" she said.

The semi-truck show has a notable guest in the form of Marc Springer, who is known from the A&E television show Shipping Wars. Springer has a connection to Manitoba as well -- when he was 14 he joined the Dauphin Kings, a hockey team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Though he lived in Seattle at the time, it didn't stop him from travelling all the way to Manitoba to play hockey.

"I knew I wasn't going to (play hockey) in Seattle," Springer said. So he looked on a map and chose a city that wasn't too big and far enough north to have good hockey weather.

"I picked it by the size of the font," he said.

Johnson said the festival saw about 10,000 visitors last year, and they're expecting a similar number for the second year.

"That's what we're aiming for this year. We've got some great weather, so we'll hope for that," she said.

The festival runs through today and will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 18, 2013 A4

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