Cason will bring pork, beef, chicken “and some great sides.”
“I want customers to enjoy my BBQ products and (their) experience at my tent.”
Hunt said she loved the reception and enthusiasm she experienced in Danville last year.
“Where else do you find quaint places like V-The Market and The Beer Engine? Usually ‘small town’ equates to a ‘small festival,’ but Danville proved to us that they come out in a big way for events such as this,” Hunt explained.
Hunt will bring ribs, pulled pork, chicken and spicy mac-and-cheese.
“If I can find them on the way down, I’ll be roasting some sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter,” she added.
“I hope people that visit my tent come away knowing the passion and love that goes into making our barbecue taste so good. It’s a ton of work, but feeding friends, family and residents of towns like Danville makes it so worthwhile and fun.”
Tim Farmer of the KET show “Kentucky Afield” is returning this year but in a different capacity. He will film an episode of a new show on which he is working. “We’re honored he’s going to be filming an episode (at the festival),” Brad Simmons said.
Western Kentucky University professor Wes Berry, of Wes Berry’s Kentucky Barbecue Adventures, will be on hand at the festival. Berry will have a book out in February that details his trek all over the commonwealth, eating and photographing barbecue.
“He’s just a neat guy,” Brad Simmons noted.
Berry also will be at the festival filming. He has a television show at WBKO in Bowling Green that Simmons described as “kind of a ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.’”
“Last year, he gave his students the day off (from class) Friday so they could have time to travel to the BBQ Festival,” Simmons added.
New to the event this year is the Bourbon Barrel Art Project. Local businesses and individuals have sponsored bourbon barrels that were supplied by Beam Global, makers of Jim Beam and Makers Mark bourbons. The barrels then were decorated by local artists who were selected by the sponsors.
On Friday, an auction of the bourbon barrel art will kick off the festival weekend. Proceeds will go to Heart of Kentucky United Way.
Barrels can be viewed before the auction beginning at 7 p.m. The auction will begin at 8 p.m. at The Warehouse on Perryville Street in Danville.
(The auction and other festivities Friday at The Warehouse are by reservation only).
The children’s area is in a larger space this year, Cindy Simmons said. The 4-H petting zoo again will be set up as well as a kids crafts area. “The bungee guy said he might bring more equipment,” she noted.
The reigning bean eating and hog calling winners will be on-site this weekend, challenging others while defending their titles. The people’s choice designation again will be awarded this year.
Cindy Simmons said the festival will be set up differently this year, enabling a better flow throughout the festival. Brad Simmons added the cooks are “stepping it up” this year.
“We went through 6,000 pounds of meat last year,” he explained. “We were only expecting 3,000-10,000 for the weekend. ... We’ll hopefully have a crazy amount of people.”
The cooks are looking forward to returning to Danville.
“They’re coming back because Danville gave them a big hug,” he explained.
Added Cindy Simmons, “They love the whole town.”
SO YOU KNOW
The Kentucky State BBQ Festival will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free; food will be for sale during the weekend. For more information, log on to www.kentuckybbqfestival.com.
Here’s a tentative schedule of events:
11-11:15 a.m.: opening ceremony, main stage
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Big Poppa Stampley, main stage
12:30-1 p.m.: competition chicken demo, demo stage
1-4 p.m.: people’s choice voting; voting closes at 4 p.m.
1:15-2:15 p.m.: Alien Blue, main stage
2:30-3 p.m.: making great ribs demo, demo stage
3:30-4:30 p.m.: Oh My Me, main stage
4:45-5:15 p.m.: ,aking great pork barbecue demo, demo stage
5:30-6 p.m.: making great brisket demo, demo stage
Saturday Night Blues Party
6:15-7:15 p.m.: Little T&A, main stage
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Sonny Yingst Band, main stage
8:45-8:55 p.m.: door prize drawings, main stage
9-10 p.m.: The Stella Vees, main stage
11 a.m.: festival opens
11:15 a.m.-noon: tailgating on the pit, demo stage
Noon-12:30 p.m.: holiday on the pit, demo stage
1-2 p.m.: The Mojos, main stage
2:15-3:15 p.m.: bean eating contest, main stage
2:30-2:45 p.m.: hog calling contest, main stage
3-4 p.m.: Custom Made Bluegrass, main stage
4:15-4:45 p.m.: award announcements, Big Green Egg raffle drawing, door prize drawings, main stage
5-6 p.m.: Long Tall Deb, main stage
5 p.m.: festival closes