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BBQ festival returns to Tryon Street this year

Charlotte’s 11th annual barbecue festival will return to Tryon Street this fall with a new name: Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship.

The festival, formerly known as Blues, Brew & BBQ, had spent years on Tryon before moving several years ago to the N.C. Music Factory in Fourth Ward.

It will be on Tryon Street between Trade and Stonewall streets on Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.. The main stage will be at the Square, and there will be vendors up and down the street.

“It’s a rebranding, a rebirth. We’ve been away a few years, and it was time to get it back on Tryon Street,” said Robert Krumbine, chief creative officer for Charlotte Center City Partnership, which produces the event.

“One of the reasons for the name change is we have a focus to grow the competition,” Krumbine said. “We believe we can be on par with some of the other big world championships going on.”

“It’s a great celebration of the genuine culture of Charlotte,” added Center City Partners CEO Michael Smith.

Krumbine said the festival is expecting 100 competitors for its cooking contest this year, including about 70 challengers in the amateur division and more than 30 professional barbecue teams.

Smith said the band Vintage Trouble, which just returned from touring Europe with The Who, will be the headline act for the festival.

Tom Hanchett, a historian at the Levine Museum of the New South, said at a press conference Thursday that it’s fitting for a Southern city like Charlotte to have a festival honoring barbecue, a food that hearkens back to the region’s agrarian roots.

“Barbecue,” he said, “might be the South’s favorite food.”

Frazier: 704-358-5145; @ericfraz on Twitter.
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