April 16, 2019

The 13th annual Apple Blossom BBQ Contest is less than a month away and plans are underway to make the event another success for St. Joseph. St. Joseph Community Branding, or the “Made With Uncommon Character” campaign, is leading the Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event for the second time.

“This event is important to our city because it brings in competitive barbecue teams from all over the Midwest,” said Kristi Bailey, campaign director. “While we love the extra tourists the contest brings, it’s also a great event for our own residents. St. Joseph has much to be proud of, including all of the activities that happen Apple Blossom weekend.”

The event will be from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, May 3, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 4 at Civic Center Park, 1100 Frederick Ave. It’s free to attend, but attendees are encouraged to buy food and drinks. No outside food and drinks are allowed from the public.

Friday night attendees will be able to sample the competitors’ barbecue with the People’s Choice contest. For $10, taste at least 15 samples and vote for who will win the People’s Choice Award. Food and drink vendors also will be on hand offering a variety of food for the whole family.

“While it’s fun to watch the BBQ teams compete like how you see on Food Network, it’s also a great chance to enjoy the outdoors and listen to live music,” said Beth Conway, BBQ chairperson. “After the extreme winter and then flooding our area has endured, everyone is ready for some outdoor fun for adults and kids during Apple Blossom weekend.”

Local favorite, 80s cover band Blue Oyster Culture Club (BOCC) breaks out of its winter hibernation to perform Friday night and the park will have inflatable fun for kids to burn off the sugar after the Apple Blossom parade on Saturday.

This year the Apple Blossom BBQ is partnering with Hy-Vee to prolong the barbecue fun on Saturday. After the Apple Blossom BBQ, head out to Hy-Vee, 201 N. Belt Highway, from 3 to 6 p.m. for its Backyard BBQ. Barbecue will be available for sale, Liberty Cap Brewing beer will be available, as well as kids activities and a performance from 3 to 5 by the Beatles Tribute Trio. Special appearances by Apple Blossom BBQ winners are scheduled.

The weekend schedule is:
Friday, May 3
Civic Center Park – 1100 Frederick Ave
5 to 10 p.m. Park open to the public for food, drink and retail vendors
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. People’s Choice Tasting
7 to 10 p.m. Music by Blue Oyster Culture Club

Saturday, May 5
9:30 to 11 a.m. Apple Blossom Parade from Noyes & Frederick to Fouth & Felix Downtown
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Live Radio Remote by KKJO at Civic Center Park
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Park open to the public for food, drink and retail vendors, kids activities by A&M Amusements
3 to 3:30 p.m. BBQ Competition Awards Presentation at Civic Center Park
3 to 6 p.m. Backyard BBQ at Hy-Vee

There is still time to sign up to participate as a BBQ Team and be a vendor at the event. Visit uncommoncharacter.com/apple-blossom-bbq for more information.

Thanks to Triumph Foods, Presenting Sponsor; Mosaic Life Care, Uncommon Character Tent Sponsor; Hy-Vee, Grand Championship Sponsor; and St. Jo Frontier Casino, Entertainment Sponsor, and Hi-Ho Bar & Grill, After Party Sponsor. For additional sponsors, see the website.

St. Joseph Community Branding LLC consists of the following coordinating partners: St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Mosaic Life Care, St. Joseph School District, St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, Missouri Western State University and the City of St. Joseph.

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