Smyrna BBQ Festival Brings Thousands to The District

9th Annual Smyrna Barbecue Festival
photo by Lee Rennick

Great barbecue and music brought thousands to Smyrna’s Depot District along Front Street. The 9th Annual Smyrna Barbecue Festival offered food trucks from some of the best barbecue businesses in the area, and the happy sauce-smudged faces of those attending showed it was another successful event.

“The first year we had three or four barbecue places,” said Trenton Short from Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department, which coordinated the event. “And we have grown every year. It looks like next year we are going to have to have more space.”

Front Street was filled with food trucks offering barbecue of every kind, and in all different forms including on pizza, on nachos and Jamaican style. Everyone had a favorite they were supporting, insuring the pit masters were staying busy. Vendors included Kinfolk, Smokin’ Butts, Slick Pig, Sweet T’s and many more.

There were three different performance stages with bands playing rock, country and an eclectic brew. One was located at Carpe Café, another at the Train Station, and the third was performing inside the Town Hall. As the evening got cooler, there was even some dancing in the street.

Kids had a great time playing on the giant slide and several lawn games, followed by ice cream from the Black Box Ice Cream truck, which sat nearby. Black Box is known for their unique gourmet flavors, including their signature flavor, Ube. Ube is made from a purple yam that comes from the Philippines which they blend with a hint of shortbread cookie. It was a hit.

Janarty’s Ice Cream shop was also popular on the warm and muggy evening, with many people enjoying one of their hand-made small-batch flavors while sitting on the porch and listening to the music wafting through the air.

“Put It in There” Barbecue Sauce and Seasonings had a booth for the very first time. Created by Hip Hop Chef Kerry Williams, he and his wife had been making and serving the sauce to friends and family for years before they decided to package it and sell it during COVID lock-down.

Coordinated by Smyrna Parks and Recreation with help from both the fire and police departments, this event was begun as part of the Town of Smyrna’s mission to bring more people to Front Street.

“We chose to do a Barbecue Festival barbecue that is what people were asking for,” added Short, “it has been very well received.”

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