Niagara Gazette


June 15, 2014

BBQ and blues|First day of CrossBorders festival attracts many hungry visitors

Niagara Gazette — WILSON — Perfect weather for a barbecue was on tap during the first day of the fourth annual Crossborder Blues, Brews, and Ques festival on Saturday.

Hundreds of cars parked along Lake Street, with many baring plates from out of state or Ontario.

“We've had so many people come today, it's been very busy,” event organizer Kathy O'Keefe said. “It's been a great turnout so far.”

The festival continues from noon to 8 p.m. today and features the Fireman's Rib Throw Down and Junior Que competitions. Musical acts include Hayden Fogle's Treble Rousers and Monkey Junk, a Juno award winning blues band.

The event is being held in front of Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co.

Beer tasters packed the “Libation Station” where over 30 beers were on tap for sampling. A large banner showed descriptions of each beer's flavor, but the knowledgable group of volunteers from Woodcock Brothers brewery were just as helpful at aiding tasters pick the best brew.

Mercury Blues Band, Wanted by the FBI, Lynne Fredericks, and Tommy Z provided entertainment for the afternoon.

The blues aspect of the festival attracted Kevin Jonak of Puerto Rico, who came into Buffalo last week for a consultant job in Medina.

“When I arrived at the Buffalo airport, I heard about a blues festival in Wilson on the radio and I said, 'I've got to find Wilson!', Jonak said. “I've found that any time you go into a new town, if you can find somewhere with blues music, you'll find the coolest people.”

The 44 barbecue teams competing set up camp across the street from Woodcock Brothers at the Wilson Historical society.

Bruce and Lisa Will of BW's Smokin' Barrels Barbecue, a Blasdell restaurant, were packing away their equipment around 2 p.m., after their entry had been taken for judging.

“Ribs are our specialty,” Lisa said.

Bruce said the competition was a great way to be around other barbecue teams.

“It's fun, it's a great environment to be in,” Bruce said.

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222 ext. 6245 or tweet to @Lynchie17

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