Autumn-ArtsMost hardcore barbecue fans would agree that there truly is an art to cooking, grilling or smoking meat. Thus, it’s no surprise that barbecue will play a prominent role on October 4 at Santa Maria’s 31st-annual Autumn Arts Grapes and Grains Festival.

This family friendly street festival takes advantage of the Central Coast’s idyllic fall weather . . . when the coastal fog retreats while the sunshine plays on. Celebrants can look forward to live music, arts and crafts vendors, wine and beer tasting, a chalk art expose, a “paint” run and a fine arts show. Add to all that cooking demonstrations and a variety of food vendors and you have a can’t miss afternoon.

The day’s Santa Maria Style BBQ tri-tip delicacies will be expertly served up by the Minerva Club, one of the longest continuously running women’s clubs in California that was founded by pioneer women in 1894. In 1928, Julia Morgan (the architect of Hearst Castle) designed the group’s clubhouse, and in 1984 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Meanwhile, G. Brothers Smokehouse will present its famed barbecue chicken and ribs. The brothers pride themselves on smoking all meat on-site using an authentic, high quality, wood-burning smoker flown in from Mesquite, Texas. As ever, Santa Maria takes its barbecue seriously, with much flavor, color and flourish!