WESTPORT, Conn. — The weather, the food and the music were all hot as Westport hosted the eighth annual Blues, Views and Barbecue Festival over the holiday weekend.
The event took over the Levitt Pavilion and Westport Library parking lot — and a whole bunch of nearby parking spots — as over 7,000 people came out on Saturday to enjoy music, food and a good time.
Large as the lawn is, volunteers at the festival entry gates had to shut off walkup admissions to the Levitt by mid-afternoon. On Saturday, you got to know your neighbors really well; not so on a less crowded Sunday.
Saturday offered 10 hours of great blues bands on the main stage, and nine more appeared on Sunday.
Acts included Robert Randolph, Anders Osborn, Mark Naftalin, Alexis P. Suter and many, many more.
The Festival opened with a 17-team barbecue cook-off competition in the Imperial parking lot — many with creative names emblazoned on colorful signs — followed by 14 teams competing for the Peoples Choice Wings Award.
For those not into the main stage acts, a tent in the parking lot offered a stream of local acts sponsored by the School of Rock.
Among Saturday’s groups were the Boogie Boys, two guys making a lot of music, and the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, a nine-piece group with a tuba. School of Rock groups entertained on Sunday, with a continuous stream of music from talented teenagers.
Between acts, musicians of all ages joined the Randy Brody Drum Circle.
The festival was a family day in the sun. Strollers abounded in the library parking lot, as young children climbed into, onto and around nine bouncy activities, from a castle to a train to a water slide, while their parents’ iPhone cameras worked overtime.
And there was food, and more food. The people in Bobby Q’s always long lines were treated to ribs, pulled pork and brisket; Winnie’s Jerk Chicken served up its Jamaican specialties; and Blue Lemon offered burgers, corn and tuna tacos. There were even fried Oreos from Fried Up, and a friend said that Rita’s lemon ice was “the best!”
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