Move over meat sweats, the 2nd Annual Santa Maria BBQ Festival Brews and Cues is back and bigger than ever. This year, people will enjoy more barbecue, more beers and more good times. The event will be held on Saturday April 21st from noon-5:00 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Santa Maria.
A professional competition with 12 local businesses and professional barbecuers will compete for bragging rights and the #1 Branding Iron Award. A team of local celebrity judges will vote on the Best BBQ. Woody’s Butcher Block in Santa Maria provides the meat for all the competitors. Just when you thought it can’t get any better than this, you should know that the event also includes brews from nearly a dozen local breweries.
There will be live music, activities, a kids corner and specialty merchandise vendors. This is a fundraiser to benefit the local Kiwanis for Kids Scholarship program. It will be an event for all ages and will allow barbecuers to showcase the flavorful and unique Santa Maria Style Barbecue.
Jaime Flores, festival organizer with the Kiwanis Club, said the idea for the festival came to him when he realized there were no food festival options to celebrate the famous style of barbecue.
“I think the best way to describe the festival is that it has that community feel that is indicative of our region,” said Flores. “I envision this event as one where we recreate what it’s like if you came over to our backyard. It’s a family-friendly festival as well, and we’re trying to keep that a main part of it. Pioneer Park gives people an idea of what Santa Maria Valley is about, especially with the massive barbecue pits. It’s hometown, it’s local vendors and local competitors.”
This year, Jim Phillips, accredited barbecue judge for association, will be the head judge of the event, along with Miguel Tabon, Tim Woodbury, Paul and Susie Righetti, local radio personality Denis “Catfish” Miller and Ben Waters of L.A. Foodie. Waters will also do an Instagram takeover on Santa Maria Valley’s instagram social media handle for the weekend.
This year’s participants are Whiskey Bent, That Guy BBQ, Vaqueras, Orcutt Lions, Orcutt Kiwanis, Master Q’s, Nipomo Smoke N Que, The Tri Tip Man, Prime BBQ, Rancho Bowl, Grandpa Luis’ BBQ and Rollin Oak.
There will be a a separate competition for “Best Backyard Cook.” Backyard participants will be: Band of Brothers, Getting Smoky With It, Special Blend, R&S Country BBQ, The Cut Above and Team Alvarado.
General admission is $10 per person. Barbecue, desserts, drinks and various beers will be available for purchase. Children 3 and under are free. An All Access ticket for $35 allows attendees to enjoy the event as well as a separate a competition for “Best Backyard Cook,” and beer tasting from over 20 different local and regional craft breweries. All Access attendees will be able to sample and vote for their favorite BBQ from different backyard teams. Last year, more than 800 people attended the event. Tickets are available here.
The tradition of Santa Maria Style Barbecue has remained strong in the Santa Maria Valley. “It’s a historical part of Santa Maria Valley, and part of our lifestyle,” said Flores. “The people that have been influential through the years have been involved in our barbecue clubs, community events and restaurants. It’s part of the social aspect that circles around the value of food, family and friends. There are so many unique things about our barbecue that you cannot find elsewhere”
Sunset Magazine deemed Santa Maria The West’s Best BBQ Town. Sunset Magazine also tipped their hat to the pinquito bean, a staple that pairs perfectly with Santa Maria Style Barbecue. It’s a distinct taste indicative to the area. One you try it, you’ll be hooked.
Just like our barbecue, the recipe for our way of life in the Santa Maria Valley requires simplicity, character, soul, and a touch of spice. Hit the road and explore all you can do in and around Santa Maria Valley. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less. The Santa Maria Valley boasts 34 tasting rooms, 6 unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, hiking trails, cycling, authentic Santa Maria Style dining and even fun-filled events such as Santa Maria Valley Restaurant Week – you’ll find all that right in our backyard.
Enjoy gathering with fellow barbecue and beer lovers for food and fun, all done #SantaMariaStyle at this popular event. This BBQ Brews and Cues Fest is sure to be 🔥.