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Blues mix with slow-cooked barbecue at annual festival

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Music fans enjoy one of the main stage performers at last year’s first Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival at Red River Exhibition Park.

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Music fans enjoy one of the main stage performers at last year’s first Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival at Red River Exhibition Park. Photo Store

If you like your blues with a side of tangy ribs, mark Aug. 16 to 18 on your calendar.


During that weekend, blues and barbecue fans can indulge their passions at the second annual Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival at Red River Exhibition Park.


Festival artistic director Rick Fenton said this year’s event builds on the success of the first festival held last year.


"We’ve made a lot of tweaks," he added.


Festival-goers will have more food choices, and great music from local musicians, including Big Dave McLean, Sol James and Brent Parkin, and out-of-towners such as gospel trio The Sojourners, Ottawa’s Monkeyjunk, and Ana Popovic, an amazing Serbian guitarist and vocalist.
Early-bird weekend pass holders will join sponsors at Friday evening’s ‘Meat Ball’. Fenton said this event includes a chili cook-off between chefs from local restaurants, with money raised through voting going to Winnipeg Harvest.


"It’s a food bank fundraiser," he said.


Saturday’s lineup includes the Brothers Landreth, Righteous Ike, Reverend Rambler, Wide Mouth Mason and Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue. The music begins at noon.
The entertainment on Sunday starts with a $5 gospel brunch followed by a Blues Manitoba jam, a Women and the Blues revue and The Detonators, with David Wilcox ending the festival in a performance on the mainstage.


As well as music on three stages, there’s a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned team barbecue competition happening over the weekend and a Big Rig Show ’n’ Shine sponsored by House of Chrome.  


Tickets are available for Saturday and Sunday, with no charge for children under 12, and free parking.


"We’re trying to keep it really cheap," said Fenton.


Information on the BBQ & Blues Festival can be found at winnipegbbqandblues.ca

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