The Westport Downtown Merchants Association is seeking backyard barbecue enthusiasts to enter its Blues, Views & BBQ Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.

The event, on the grounds of the Levitt Pavilion and Westport Public Library, will feature two Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned amateur contests, Cooking for a Cause for adults and Kids' Q for children.

Cookin' for a Cause will pit teams of two to four contestants against each other to win in four barbecue categories -- chicken, ribs, chef's choice and dessert. There will be prizes for the best in each category, and proceeds will benefit the Westport Woman's Club Food Closet.

The Kids' Q will have teams of two to four young chefs, with an adult supervisor, competing in three categories -- burger, hot dog and chef's choice. Kids will be encouraged to "think outside of the bun!" by using special ingredients, interesting garnishes and bold flavors.

The festival will also include music on the pavilion's stage, food, craft beer, eating contests and family fun at Melissa & Doug Kids Corral with free inflatables, School of Rock performances and other activities.

The Westport Woman's Club started the Food Closet in 1975 under the direction of the Westport Department of Human Services. The WWC Food Closet now provides more than 500 bags of nonperishable food and more than $15,000 in grocery gift cards annually to local families in need.

Visit for competition entry forms and ticket information.