The Downtown Jonesboro BBQ and Music Fest has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2018 Festival/Event of the Year award in the Arkansas Delta Byways competition.
The award will be presented at the annual Delta Byways banquet Feb. 15 in Stuttgart.
Other finalists are Helena’s King Biscuit Blues Festival and Stuttgart’s World Champion Duck Calling Contest.
The BBQ and Music Fest grew out of Mayor Harold Perrin’s vision for an annual celebration in Jonesboro after seeing the city’s overwhelming response to its sesquicentennial in 2009.
“It’s one thing to want it; it’s another thing entirely for a community of volunteers to make it come true,” Perrin said of the Downtown BBQ and Music Fest’s success. “It has taken a lot of people who care about Jonesboro to grow this festival into something so special.”
Festival Chairman Tim McCall said the acknowledgement by Delta Byways was “10 years in the making.
“The members of our team are already working on this year’s festival, and it’s nice to be acknowledged for putting on such an event for Northeast Arkansas.”
McCall said the festival, which ran two days for the first time last September, would not be possible without support from many contributors, including Ritter Communications, the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission, the Downtown Jonesboro Association, City of Jonesboro, and some critical individual volunteers.
A&P Chairman Jerry Morgan said this event has “consistently grown over the past several years, and we’ve been able to expand especially with the sponsorship from Ritter Communications.
“I think it will continue to grow, and that will also enable us to continue to showcase our growth downtown.”
DJA President Lindsey Wingo said the BBQ and Music Fest is a business booster, as well as community fun. “It’s always a fantastic weekend for our downtown businesses,” she said. “We see most businesses reach almost full capacity all weekend.”
This year’s festival will be held Sept. 27-28. Performing acts have not yet been selected.