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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Blues, Views & BBQ Fest heats up Westport as summer slips away

Published 9:10 am, Sunday, August 31, 2014

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  • Bruce Rieder of Vernon, like many others in the crowd at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival on Saturday, traveled a distance to enjoy the music and food. Photo: Jarret Liotta / Westport News
    Bruce Rieder of Vernon, like many others in the crowd at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival on Saturday, traveled a distance to enjoy the music and food. Photo: Jarret Liotta

 

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Things in Westport are smoking this weekend!

Whether the crowds turned out for the food, fun or music, the 7th annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival was the place to heat things up for the end-of-summer Labor Day holiday.

"It's fantastic," said Andrew Will of Weston. "The kids are having a great time. There's a lot for them to do and see and play with."

Adults, too, had options -- from a weekend of great blues performers at the Levitt Pavilion to the barbecuing competition held in the Imperial Avenue lot.

"This is our first time here," Sandy Kershaw of Gloucester, R.I., said of the two-day event. "It's a beautiful venue. We'll be here next year."

"We usually see most of the musicians in New Orleans," said Dawn Bergstrom of Foster, R.I., "so it's great to come here and not have to wait."

The cooking competition featured around 20 local teams that shared their skills with the sauce and slow roast.

"It's just a very fun day getting out with the family and friends," said Pat Beranek of Weston, who led the team "How You Q'ing?" for the seventh tear.

"Being a Brit, I think the best thing is actually learning to do barbecue properly," said Stuart Monk, who now lives in Monroe, and is affectionately called "The Brit in the Pit" by his teammates from "That's Our Que."

His teammates, Guy Walker, said that while the cooking is important, the camaraderie takes the prize. "Everybody's really friendly," he said. "It really makes it special. You really meet a lot of new friends."

While the competition is friendly, the judging is a bit more serious, with certified members of the Kansas City Barbecue Society deciding on the winners in four categories--chicken, ribs, dessert and chef's choice.

"There's all sorts of barbecue that you get all over the northeast, all over the country," said Don Lovely of Plymouth, Mass., noting that every judge has a different palette, with different likes and dislikes.

If some kinds of BBQ weren't for everyone, there were also games and activities, including a mechanical bull for kids, face painting, and a smaller tent with musical combos in the packed lot behind The Westport Library.

"Great food, great vibes, great time," said Aron Davidson of Stamford. "I get to listen to great music and my kids get to have a lot of fun."

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.bluesviewsbbq.com.