By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: May 2010
The Kids Zone at the Bixby BBQ ’n Musical Festival offers fun and games for kids of all ages.
Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8, the Rotary Club of Bixby is hosting the ninth annual Bixby BBQ ’n Music Festival at Washington Irving Memorial Park at 137th and Memorial. This family-friendly event will feature live music throughout and plenty of barbecue.
You may be more familiar with the festival’s former name – the Bixby BBQ ’n Blues Festival. This year, as last year when the name was changed, the festival will feature an expanded variety of musical styles, including blues, pop/rock, country and classic rock. Performing artists will include Jenny Labow, Mary Cogan, and the Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis Band.
There will also be lots of barbecue available for purchase. The festival features a Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned barbecue contest; it’s one of the biggest such competitions in Oklahoma. Judging is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – for $5, you can buy a Taster Kit and sample a number of competitors’ wares, then vote for your favorite. This year, the event will feature around 100 teams, about 60 of which will be competing.
In recent years, the Bixby BBQ ’n Music Festival’s Kids Zone has been a highlight. Last year, Sherry Barbour of Bixby’s Big Blast Fireworks, who had been involved with the festival for a number of years, took over the kids’ activities. “I have 30 years of experience with activities and carnival games for kids. I’ve done a lot of coordinating for schools and churches, and I’ve helped spearhead a lot of events,” Barbour says. “We wanted to make the festival more family-friendly, and we’ve made a lot of improvements over the last two years.”
The Kids Zone is at the front of the park, by the entrance. “We’ve worked to make it more colorful, more fun, and more parent- and grandparent-friendly,” says Barbour. "We have exciting new inflatables this year. Local nonprofit organizations help provide free carnival games, crafts and face painting. Our children's stage will feature a variety of entertainment and character-building activities." The festival will have miniature pony petting for free. Pony rides will also be available. Tickets for the inflatable jumpers can be purchased per jump or per day. “The day pass was a huge hit last year, and it’s just $12,” says Barbour.
The festival’s host, the Rotary Club of Bixby, is active in an impressive number of community projects. They support youth development by promoting literacy, education and decision-making, and also sponsor youth leadership camps and award college scholarships. Bixby Rotary supports many local and international efforts, including scholarships, leadership camps, and a medical supplies network that sends equipment to developing countries. "In Rotary we emphasize service above self," says Barbour, a Rotarian. "We give back to the community." Proceeds from the Bixby BBQ'n Music Festival will be used by the Rotary Club of Bixby for these and many other community projects. For more information on the Rotary Club of Bixby, visit www.bixbyrotaryweb.com.
Admission to the Bixby BBQ ’n Music Festival is $5 per car – all the music and entertainment is free. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for the park’s expansive grassy seating area. Handicapped parking and supervised motorcycle parking are also available.
The Bixby BBQ ’n Music Festival is Friday, May 7 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Washington Irving Memorial Park. For more information, visit the festival on the web at www.bixbyrotarybbq.info.