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Blues, brews and barbecue

By , - Last modified: June 12, 2014 at 3:11 PM

We've all been seeing or reading about how Allentown is undergoing major revitalization in its business district, so let's shift gears a bit and take a look at some other things happening in the downtown's lifestyle sector.

One special event that’s cooking up in Allentown this weekend is the seventh annual Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival at PPL Plaza.

Bringing together the best regional and national blues artists with some of the best barbecue vendors, Saturday will be filled with food, music and entertainment, and it’s free to the public.

The menu includes a wide variety of barbecued ribs, pulled pork and brisket along with roasted corn, fried pickles, pig tacos and more. The collection of food vendors includes Allentown Brew Works, Aw Shucks Roasted Corn, Danny’s Fine Foods, Grumpy’s Bar-B-cue Roadhouse, Phil’s French Fries, Roosevelt’s 21st, Baby Got “Que,” Mr. BBQ 911, Goodies Fudge and Chocolate Artisans, Kloby’s Smokehouse, Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and Peter Piper’s Pennsylvania Pickles.

A barbecue competition is planned for the afternoon. The food vendors will compete in five categories: chicken, beef, pork, baked beans and salad.

Judges score based on characteristics such as unique quality, taste and presentation. The judging panel is comprised of representatives from local media outlets, Allentown businesses, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the city of Allentown.

More than a dozen vendors and artists will be at the festival, including the Second Story Blues Alliance, Alternative Gallery, Case De Jorge Salsa, Emmy Bean Jewelry, Fid’s Creations, Greene Bark Press Inc., Promiseland Murals, Wear at Your Own Wrist, and, new this year, Buzz Box — which provides handcrafted, wooden beer and wine carriers.

For patrons 21 and older, there will be plenty of refreshing beverages to taste throughout the day.

Fegley’s Brew Works, Geiger Beverages and the Colony Meadery will be the distributors of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Beers on tap will include both craft varieties and domestics.

The Hamilton District Main Street program partnered with the city to make the event possible.

The schedule of entertainment:

Craig Thatcher’s “Blues Akustiko”: 1:15-2 p.m.

Dugan Thomas: 2:15-3:15 p.m.

James Supra, Sarah Ayers Quartet: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Barbecue competition announcements: 4:30 p.m.

Billy Hector Band: 5-6:30 p.m.

Alexis P. Suter: 6:45-8:15 p.m.

Clarence Spady Band: 8:30-10 p.m.

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Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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