By: Mike Gately | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2008
Mike Gately, Bixby Rotary Club chairperson, invites you and your family to the 7th Annual Bixby BBQ’N Blues Festival May 9-10.
Do you find delicious barbecue irresistible? Do the soulful sounds of blues music really get your feet tapping? Are you looking for a family-friendly event where you can enjoy scrumptious food and amazing music? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the 7th Annual Bixby BBQ’N Blues Festival is the event for you.
With $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, barbecue cooking teams from around the country are tripping over their apron strings to get registered to compete. Visitors from all over the region, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Arkansas, will arrive in Bixby May 9 and 10 to enjoy the perfect blend of barbecue and blues music at one of the most popular yearly events in Tulsa County.
“The Rotary Club of Bixby is really excited about the fun, family-orientated energy generated from the festival,” said Fred Beasley, Bixby Rotary president. “Everybody has a blast and, as a Bixby Rotarian, I can say we always see a positive impact on Bixby’s economy because of this festival.”
The festival is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Bixby Rotary Club to benefit the Bixby community. Officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an official State of Oklahoma Barbeque Competition, competitors come from all around. The best in local and national blues musical acts and an outstanding kids’ area provide a fun family event that over 10,000 people enjoy each year.
Last year’s BBQ’N Blues Festival featured blues act Levee Town.
“This year we’ll be presenting two stages, featuring impressive local and national blues bands,” said Lisa Navrkal, Bixby Chamber president and Bixby BBQ’N Blues public relations co-chairperson. “Not only will visitors be able to thrill their taste buds with world-class barbecue, but they’ll be treated to the best blues around. This annual event is the perfect example of business leaders coming together to support the Bixby community in a fun and unique way.”
With the 2007 festival, Bixby Rotary Club raised over $65,000. They donated $30,000 to the Bixby Community Outreach Center to help the area’s needy, funded three scholarships for Bixby-area students, provided dictionaries to every third grader in four school systems, and sponsored an Up with Trees planting. They also provided 75 at-risk kids with Christmas presents, hosted the Bixby Christmas Parade, assisted in a Boy Scout project, and gave $1,000 each to Mounds Elementary and Bixby Senior Citizens.
This year’s event will be held May 9 and 10 at the Washington Irving Memorial Park, located on the beautiful Arkansas River in Bixby. Live bands will perform both days. Friday’s lineup will feature Jesse Allen Joice Band, Little Joe, Wanda Watson Band, Watermelon Slim and The Workers. Saturday’s performers include Blackhawk Blues Band, David Bernston and the Duo Sonics, Jennifer Marriott and Odd Sheep Out, Moreland and Arbuckle, and Walter Trout and the Radicals.
Festivities will also include a large array of food vendors, such as Texas Roadhouse and Chick-fil-A. For a low price, event goers can purchase taster kits on Saturday from 10:30 to 1:30.
Washington Irving Park provides ample elbow room as well as parking for both cars and bikes. Event organizers have worked to make this not only the event of the year in the area, but also one of the friendliest for families.
The Rotary Club of Bixby is a part of the larger Rotary International. Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 200 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 Rotary clubs. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. Visit www.bixbyrotary.com for details and sign-up forms for the Bixby BBQ’N Blues Festival.
Admission to the event is $5 per vehicle.