Monday, May 21 , 2018, 4:04 pm | Mostly Cloudy 68º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria Firing Up Barbecue Throwdown to Benefit Kiwanis Kids

As the birthplace of one of the greatest American barbecue styles, it only makes sense that Santa Maria Valley should hold its own barbecue extravaganza. The inaugural Santa Maria BBQFestival Brews & Cues happens noon-6 p.m. April 22, at Santa Maria’s Pioneer Park.

A benefit fundraiser for the Santa Maria Kiwanis for Kids program, the event features a professional competition involving local celebrity judges who will vote on the Best BBQ and present the #1 Branding Iron award.

A separate contest will crown the Best Backyard Cook and include beer tastings from 12 regional craft breweries in the Brews & Cues event.

Along the way, attendees can expect culinary fireworks based on the regional tradition of Santa Maria-style barbecue, which is famous for its dry-rubbed top block sirloin and tri-tip cooked over coals of native red oak and served with locally grown pinquito beans.

Live music, a kid’s corner, and cornhole tournament will also be part of the event.

Festival tickets are $10 for general admission, $25 for the Brews & Cues tasting bar (based on availability). For more information and tickets, visit https://nightout.com/events/santa-maria-bbq-festival-brews-cues/tickets.

Santa Maria-style barbecue stems from a tradition shaped by decades of history, generations of locals, and the perfect mix of native flavors, all of which come together to create a distinct taste indicative of the Santa Maria Valley.

Origins of Santa Maria-style barbecue date back to the mid-1800s, when local rancheros would host Spanish-style barbecues every spring for their vaqueros, or cowboys. Under the trees in the picturesque valley, they’d savor feasts of beef barbecued over earthen pits filled with red-oak coals.

Today, Santa Maria-style barbecue is enjoyed across the region. The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce copyrighted the official menu in 1978. It consists of tri-tip served with fresh salsa, grilled French bread dipped in melted butter, macaroni and cheese, and a green salad.

Sunset Magazine deemed Santa Maria The West’s Best BBQ Town and The Travel Channel recently showcased Santa Maria-style barbecue on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

For details on Santa Maria Valley lodging, wine tasting, travel deals and e-newsletter alerts, visit santamariavisitor.com or call 800-331-3779.

— Chrisie Yabu for Santa Maria Valley.

 

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