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The ninth annual Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash takes over the Venice Airport Festival Grounds on April 20 and 21. A benefit for the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children, the festival draws some 20,000 ‘cue and music lovers from all over the region.

On Friday, starting at 5 p.m., you can chat up the contestants—top BBQ teams from across the country who are competing for a $20,000 purse—and enjoy a fish fry dinner and the music of homegrown Swinging Bridge Bluegrass Band.

Saturday is the really big day, with tasting and judging in the BBQ and chili cookoffs; a cornhole tournament; kids’ park with games, rides, face-painting and more; an exhibition of classic and vintage cars and community safety exhibitions.

Saturday also features some nationally known bluegrass performers, including Russell Moore, five-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year award. After individual performances, the bands will take the stage to jam together, ending with a gospel grand finale.

Music—and tasting—begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. For a schedule of events and musical performances as

Suncoast bbq minwca

Top barbecue teams from across the country will compete for $20,000 in prizes.

well as parking tips, go to

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