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Great Catskills Mountains BBQ Fest: New York’s Top New BBQ Showcase

Fleischmanns, New York, originated as one of the most prosperous tourist destinations in pre-WWII America. Currently, this sleepy and family-friendly village is an ideal vacation destination to get away from it all.


Fleischmanns and the surrounding communities of the Western Catskills have much to offer by way of activities and unique community events. You’ll find the Catskill State Forest and Bear Spring Mountain State Park just a short distance from town. These lush and visually stunning areas are waiting to be explored. Try your hand at a multitude of activities including camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, hunting, fishing, rock climbing, biking and more. The restaurants here will make any foodie happy including Bebert's Condiments Cafe & Gallery, Maine Black Bear Seafood Restaurant, and Peekamoose. While you're in the area make sure to check out the unique shopping opportunities. From boutique stores selling one-of a kind items to general stores with the necessities of everyday life, it's all in the area. To get the full Western Catskill experience you need to visit during one of the large community events. While many communities here feature a large local festival, few compare Fleischmanns and the Great Catskills Mountains BBQ Fest.


The Great Catskills Mountains BBQ Fest is ramping up for its initial run in 2016. This event aims to showcase the finest BBQ cooks in all of New York State and is expected to draw over 2,000 people from all over the state, region and beyond. The Festival is ideal for all ages and perfect for anyone that loves BBQ. Kids will love the food, Kidzone area and the fun atmosphere. Adults will love the great BBQ, microbrews, ciders and new people to meet. It's not just about the food as you’ll also encounter craft and art vendors, live music, and the stunning setting that the Fleischmanns Park provides. Come and experience why so many people hold the Western Catskills in high regard and make your way to the Great Catskills Mountains BBQ Fest. We got the chance to interview Kim M. O'Brien, Representative for the festival, to talk all about this great family friendly event.


RAL: Tell me a bit about the event.

KO: This is the first year that we are holding the event. It is the first Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event to be held in the Catskills. We are expecting a minimum of 2,000- 2,500 people based on the participation at our town’s Memorial Day Weekend Street Fair, which has been held annually for the last 17 years. We are looking forward to hosting food lovers, families and children, as well as couples. Just about anyone that loves to eat or has an interest in food (especially BBQ) should come and join us.


RAL: Walk me through a day at the event.

KO: The event is being held at Fleischmanns Park. The gates open at 10:00 am for attendees. There will be over 50 vendors on the midway including food concessions, craft vendors, a  Kidzone tent with activities, and a beer tent featuring beer and hard cider microbreweries. Among the food concessions will be The Peekamoose, a Zagat rated destination “farm-to-table” restaurant located in Shandaken. Two live bands will perform throughout the day from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. The event comes to an end at 5:30 pm after the announcement of the prize winners in the three categories: Professional BBQers, Backyard Barbies, and the winner of the Fire Co. Throwdown.


RAL: What can attendees expect to find for local lodging?

KO: Visitors can expect to find lodging in bed and breakfasts located up and down Route 28 from Kingston to Andes. Chain hotels and inns can be found in Kingston. We will have lodging partnerships established for next year’s event.


RAL: Does the event support any special causes in the community?

KO: Money raised from donations and raffles will be donated to the Fleischmanns Community Pool Fund which is awaiting extensive repairs. We anticipate that the event will drive business to local establishments, food and lodging, but gift shops as well.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

KO: The Catskill Mountains have been providing city dwellers with a respite from the stifling summer temperatures for generations. Today, the Catskills are just as beautiful and restorative as they were when first discovered by the Dutch in the 17th century. The views of the mountains, the notches, valleys and from the mountain tops are magnificent. The Village of Fleischmanns is in the Catskill Park, surrounded by beautiful and serene views. New visitors to The Great Catskill Mountain BBQ Fest will discover the best that nature offers and for those who have visited us before, the festival offers a great reason to visit again!

For more information about the Great Catskills Mountains BBQ Fest, please visit their website.