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Buckeye BBQ Fest: Celebrating BBQ, Cars and Family in Beautiful Cincinnati

Tucked away near the northern end of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area, West Chester, Ohio, is a friendly and scenic city, great for your next big getaway. The history of Cincinnati and its suburbs dates all the way back to 1788, when Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson, and Israel Ludlow purchased the land where the city now resides. By the early 19th Century, the area became known for meatpacking and manufacturing. In fact, the area was growing so quickly with settlers looking for work that it was quickly chartered as a village in 1802, and was incorporated as a city by 1819. Cincinnati and the surrounding areas were known as centers for commerce, education, entertainment, politics and industrial production, for the entire state by 1900. The Cincinnati Metropolitan Area currently has over 2.1 million residents and is a great place to visit.


Regularly ranked as one of the “Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine, West Chester, has many great things to do for visitors and residents alike. The quality of living here is high, so expect well maintained parks, public areas and community facilities. There are some great opportunities for outdoor activities including a visit to one of the beautiful local parks, playing a round of golf at one of the local courses, exploring the local wilderness and so much more. If you're a fan of arts and entertainment, don't miss out on the live music venues, art galleries, shows. If you're in for a truly memorable performance, get tickets for the West Chester Symphony Orchestra. You’ll encounter some great restaurants here that offer almost every style of food you can imagine. To get the full West Chester experience visit during one of the great local festivals like the Buckeye BBQ Fest.


Entering its sixth year, the Buckeye BBQ Fest has made its mark on the community. Even though the event is only six years old, it commands a crowd of thousands and is one of the most anticipated spring events in the region. This event is all about gathering the community and celebrating with BBQ, music, brews, and friendly faces. This is the ideal event to bring the entire family. There will be plenty of activities for patrons of all ages as well as a diverse spread of food and refreshments. The classic car show is back and bigger than ever this year. It will give you the opportunity to see restored and rare cars from days past. If you're looking for a unique experience that you and your family won't forget, Buckeye BBQ Fest is for you! We got the opportunity to interview Sandy Likes, Representative for the Buckeye BBQ Fest, to talk about this fun family event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

SL: This year the Buckeye BBQ Fest will take place on May 20th and 21st. The event started about six years ago. This is our third year at the events current location. And it’s the major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty. With sunny weather, we anticipate between 8,000 and 10,000 participants this year. The Buckeye BBQ Fest is a community event that is family friendly and great for date night and couples.


RAL: What makes the event unique?

SL: It has become a premier event in the community. It’s all about having fun while enjoying blues, brews and BBQ, with live music from open to close, great BBQ and the Budweiser Double Decker Beer Garden. At the same time we are raising money for charity.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

SL: We will have a wide assortment of fun activities to enjoy. There will be lots of great music with 11 blues acts playing from open to close. In the Hauser Air Kidszone, you'll find bouncy houses and plenty of fun games. On Saturday, the Petting Zoo with 15 animals will be open from noon to 8:30 pm. Car enthusiasts will enjoy the Classic Car and Hot Rod Show. There is even an outdoor cigar lounge.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

SL: Johnny Fink and the Intrusions are the headliner Friday night. Tulle Brae will close the show Saturday night. For a complete list of the bands go to or to the events page on Facebook.


RAL: What will attendees find for food options?

SL: The BBQ Fest is a foodie’s delight with 20 BBQ vendors to choose from. We have a great selection of sweet treats including ice cream, funnel cakes, pies and kettle corn and more.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

SL: We have a variety of lodging options near the event. However, more unique options such as B&Bs and cabins are found elsewhere in Butler County. Some of our more unique offerings are Sycamore Farms Country Inn, which allows you to board your horse while staying on the property. We also have six other B&Bs that are happy to host guests. In addition, nearby visitors to the event can stay at the brand new AC Hotel by Marriott. This is the first AC hotel in Ohio and only the 6th one in the US. It is located at Liberty Center.


RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

SL: It’s a great way for people to get out and create new memories with family and friends. Great food, kid friendly and fun entertainment options make it one of the marquee West Chester events each year.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

SL: This event brings people from around the region into West Chester. The influx of people supports the local economy as those visitors stay at West Chester hotels and might even do some shopping (possibly at West Chester’s IKEA or Liberty Center) while in the area.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

SL: All proceeds support non-profit organizations including Lakota Schools (scholarships, dictionaries), EDGE Teen Center, Reach-Out Lakota, Boys Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club and more.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

SL: This event is memorable for visitors because nowhere else in this region can you find the amount of BBQ options all in one place. People can stroll, sample and decide their pick for the best. Kids can interact in the play zone and family and friends can enjoy a fun day or night of festivities.

For more information about the Buckeye BBQ Fest, please visit their website.