Where there's Smoke Out, there's fire for Fresno barbecue contest

Sep. 22—Barbecue lovers have a reason to hit the road this weekend. The Great Kearney BBQ Smoke Out on Saturday in Fresno promises a day of barbecue, live music, family fun and history.

The Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned Master Series event will feature competing teams, which include Bakersfield's own PorkChop & Bubba's, preparing meats in the four KCBS categories: chicken, brisket, pork ribs and pork shoulder.

Attendees will be able to watch the professional and amateur teams in action as they prep their meats for judging and sample for themselves with barbecue tasting tickets.

Other teams competing include Lady of Q, aka Sylvie Curry (and husband Greg), which was a competitor on Netflix's "The American Barbecue Showdown"; Cherry Anchor BBQ; Java Que; and Dad's All American Grub.

All will compete for a prize purse of $8,000, awarded over the four meat categories as well as grand and reserve champion honors.

Area food trucks, curated by Fresno Street Eats, will also offer a "BBQ Bite" along with their regular menus and will compete for best food truck award.

There will also be beer tastings from local breweries and a craft beer competition is also on the schedule.

And if those competitions aren't enough, there will also be a Bounty of the Valley contest for desserts and hot or cold side dishes.

The event's Family Zone will feature games and a bounce house, giant Jenga, giant Connect Four and whiffle ball, all provided by Fresno Social Sports.

Bands will perform throughout the day on the main stage including The Parris Brothers featuring Rudy Parris, Celtic Alchemy, The Real Phonies, the Larry Flores Band, Brandon Freeman, The Gilly Girls Band and Starr Choice Band.

The Fresno County Historical Society, which is hosting the event, will also present "Fields of Fresno: A Century in the Soil," an outdoor agriculture exhibition featuring more than two football fields' worth of historical images and items from its archives.

Skye Dreams, a Central California-based drone light show company, will help end the night with a light show at 8:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the historical society's educational and archival projects.

Gates open at 11 a.m. at the parking lot of Kearney Park on California Avenue (park's address is 7160 W. Kearney Blvd., Fresno). The event runs until 9 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the gate while supplies last. Admission is $35, which includes barbecue and wine tasting tickets; $30 for just barbecue tastings; $20 for children with food tastings; and $15 for just show admission.

Parking is $5, supporting the historical society and the Fig Garden Rotary's Special Projects Fund. Cash is recommended for parking.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.