We’ve packed tons of fun into just 2 days at the Tri City BBQ Fest, the Midwest’s premier food and BBQ festival. Check out all there is to see, do, eat and shop:
Sanctioned BBQ Competition
Competitors from Omaha, Des Moines, Sioux City and beyond will compete for $14,000 in prizes and awards in this KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) sanctioned competition. Only one will emerge as Grand Champion, and only one will score the coveted Best Metro Award if they are from one of the “Tri Cities” (Omaha has swept 2014-2017 and Des Moines won 2018). On Friday night you can taste entries for the Amateur BBQ Cookoff and vote for the winners. Also, enjoy walking Competitors’ Row and watching the heated yet friendly battle among the top BBQ chefs in the USA! The pro competitors are cooking for certified judges only, but if you show up at 2:30pm on Saturday you can help judge entries in the People’s Choice Competition! Yum!
BBQ & Other Food Vendors
A diverse mix of BBQ and other treats will line our food vendor area throughout the entire Fest. We will have multiple BBQ vendors and other favorites including burgers, authentic street tacos, eloté, kettle corn, snow cones, ice cream and much, much more!
Hot bands and entertainers will be rocking historic Uptown Friday night and all day Saturday. See the full lineup here.
Iowa Craft Beer Tent
Choose from many Iowa-brewed craft beers or your favorite domestics at the beer tent made famous at the Iowa State Fair. This is your chance to sample brews from across the state at the most fun beer tent ever.
Inflatable Fun, Kids Zone, Petting Zoo & Pony Rides
Many super fun activities await adults and kids in 2019: Gyro Extreme, Rock Wall, Leaps and Bounds, Axe Throw, Animal Kingdom, Vertical Rush, Human Whack-A-Mole, Water Balls, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo and Live Duck Races!
On Saturday, the Hog Wild Car Show is back and bigger than ever. The Uptown location creates an incredible atmosphere for the show. Check out all the hot rides and talk to the owners. They’ll have a DJ, awards and more. Plus, you can walk the car show with one of our ice cold beers in hand!
Historical tours offer a fun way to learn about our wonderful community. Take a tour of the Donna Reed Theatre and Museum to learn about Oscar-winning Denison native of “It’s a Wonderful Life” fame.
Shopping & Street Vendors
In between your visits to the festival, browse our unique local merchants to find home items, antiques, fashion and much more! Plus, our vendor fair will offer fun businesses to interact with throughout the festival.