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Westport BBQ Festival Set To Spice Up Downtown

WESTPORT, Conn. – The smoky aroma of barbecue and the sound of blues music will once again fill the air in downtown Westport as the fifth-annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival comes to town this weekend — a month earlier than usual.

The two-day food and music festival, organized by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, is usually held the last week of September. It was moved up this year to accommodate planned construction at the Levitt Pavilion, festival Chairman Bob LeRose said.

“We’re actually happy it was switched to Labor Day weekend because, other than it being the last beach weekend of summer and some people being away, there’s not a lot of competition when it comes to events,” said LeRose, owner of Bobby Q’s restaurant on Main Street.

Because this year’s festival falls on a three-day weekend, LeRose predicts it will be the best attended festival to date. Historically, attendance Sunday is lower than Saturday, he said. However, with a federal holiday Monday, he believes the festival will draw equal crowds both days. As such, organizers extended Sunday hours to 8 p.m.

Despite the earlier date, no corners were cut in terms of planning. In fact, festival-goers have more to look forward to this year, LeRose said. For instance, 15 bands will rock the Levitt Pavilion stage over the two days, which LeRose believes to be the most bands ever booked.

There will also be more activities for children and more merchants, LeRose said. Most important, there will be more food. Some newcomers to the food court include the Melt Mobile, a Stamford-based gourmet grilled cheese truck recently featured on the Food Network, and Bar Q, the sister restaurant of Bobby Q’s, he said.

Other food vendors will include Blue Lemon Restaurant, Dave & Jerry’s Hot Dog Trolley, Winnie’s Jerk Chicken & Fish, Michele’s Pies and more.

The event will also feature cooking demonstrations by CT Bites, the “Kids Q” barbecue competition and “Cookin’ for a Cause,” an amateur competition that benefits the Westport Woman's Club Food Closet.

A variety of ticket options are available. Two-day passes, purchased in advance, cost $35 for adults, $15 seniors/students and $95 for a family four pack. Per day tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors/students. Children under 5 are free. Early bird special tickets, available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to adults accompanied by a child or student, are half price.

The festival runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For ticket or to see a schedule of events, visit the Blues, Views and BBQ website .

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