For the first time ever, the kickoff for the Wildwood BBQ Bash will take place on Friday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. Unlike in past years, guests who show up on Friday night will be able to purchase food and drink and enjoy live music – and vendors will not have to turn people away with empty stomachs.
Organizers have added the extra evening of food and entertainment due to the popularity of the annual event, which is so much more than just a barbecue competition. In every sense of the word, the Wildwood BBQ Bash is a true community festival with great food, great music and great community involvement in the form of local charities and support for local causes.
On Friday, beginning at 6 p.m., guests can take in the sounds of The School of Rock House Band, featuring some of the best young musicians in the area. This talented group will serve up some of the greatest songs in rock ‘n roll history. At 7 p.m. Bash guests should get set to rock with The Go Set, an Australian band with a unique pub-rock sound.
But one extra night is not the only exciting new feature for this year’s BBQ Bash.
Potato Salad Competition
In addition to its traditional barbecue competition categories, this year’s Bash introduces its inaugural “Duke’s Mayonnaise Potato Salad Competition.” A total of $750 in prize money is up for grabs to the competitors who make the best potato salad. Of course, Duke’s Mayonnaise needs to be one of the key ingredients in all potato salad entries for this competition.
The Duke’s Taste Tour kitchen trailer also will be on site to prepare delicious recipes with Duke’s Mayonnaise for guests to sample. Plus, BBQ Bash guests will be able to take home a mini-jar of Duke’s, recipe cards and a coupon to try Dukes’s in their own kitchens.
“We are very excited for the Duke’s Taste Tour to visit the Wildwood BBQ Bash” said Erin Hatcher, director of marketing for The C.F. Sauer Company, the parent company of Duke’s Mayonnaise“Duke’s Mayonnaise has long been a southern favorite, and we look forward to inviting Wildwood BBQ Bash visitors to taste the difference Duke’s makes in a dish.”
Friends of Kids with Cancer Night
This year, for the first time, the Wildwood BBQ Bash is dedicating Friday night to Friends of Kids with Cancer. That night $1 will be donated to Friends for every adult beverage purchased at booths manned by the Rotary Club of West St. Louis County and the Wildwood Lions Club.
“It’s the first time the Bash has done anything formal like that, but it’s another one of the barbecue community’s charitable undertakings to help give back,” Wildwood BBQ Bash Founder Frank Schmer said. “It’s all about community. We talk all the time about how foodies are the best people on the planet and barbecue people are the best of the foodies because it’s a community thing.”
The Bash is ringing in the new but not discarding any of the old, long-standing favorites that have become synonymous with this granddaddy of barbecue events. With more time, more food and more entertainment to offer, the Bash is sure to be bigger and better than ever.