Oviedo's origins date back to the 1860’s, when a group of settlers comprised of immigrants, former slaves, and adventurers settled on the shores of Lake Jessup. It has grown into a city of more than 34,000 people and maintains a small town atmosphere despite a location only 13 miles from Downtown Orlando. Travelers will love Oviedo’s downtown area which features shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.
The Central Florida BBQ Blowout combines BBQ and music for a great family friendly experience, and will take place May 27 at the Oviedo Mall. The event is one of the most attended BBQ celebrations in the region and organizers anticipate more than 15,000 attendees. It will feature at least eight BBQ teams cooking a variety of BBQ foods for purchase. Live performances will include bands and individual acts from the area and region. The Kids Area has something for all ages including bouncy houses, water slides, games and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce and Helpful Hands, which works to enhance the quality of life for local families dealing with crises. We got the chance to interview Bridget Lake, Senior Director of Sponsorships & Events for the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce, to learn more about this great event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
BL: Central Florida’s BBQ Blowout, presented by Sonny's BBQ and Oviedo Roofing, is smokin’ ready for its fifth year! BBQ Blowout has quickly become a signature event in the community and is free to attend. Join us on May 27th to sample delicious barbecue from professional BBQ teams and peruse local vendors at the same time! We have a kid’s area that features plenty of fun for our younger attendees with water rides and bounce houses. Live music is performed on the main stage with our headliner Jeff Howell and Bubba Wilson Band. We partner with Helpful Hands, a 100% volunteer run non-profit charity that provides local children and families in crisis support through educational, cultural, athletic and community enrichment programs. Central Florida's BBQ Blowout is produced by the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce, Helpful Hands, and the City of Oviedo.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract?
BL: Our event is family-oriented, so we attract all sorts of demographics. There is a special kid’s area with games, water slides, and bounce houses as well as a fan favorite, Perdue’s People’s Choice, where people of all ages can eat eight different chicken wings and vote for their favorite.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
BL: The event is unique because of how much our community is involved. A perfect example is our Kid-Que Cooking Competition, which includes local chefs from our area teaching young kids the skill of grilling! It’s an excellent way to see the older generation help, encourage, educate, influence, and inspire the younger generations.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
BL: We have roughly 100 vendors that represent a cross-section of businesses within the community. Most are BBQ oriented so you can shop for some great rubs and sauces that you won’t find anywhere else. We also have a lot of art and craft booths that sell a variety of handmade art.
A big part of BBQ Blowout is our exciting Kid-Que Cooking competition, as it always attracts a big crowd. We have eight professional teams that compete in competitions almost every weekend. Our patrons are in good hands when they walk over to BBQ row for food! There is also Perdue’s People’s Choice Competition. The teams love to brag that they won people’s choice, and it's a big honor for them that “the people” choose their BBQ. Perdue has donated chicken wings for the event, and all the proceeds from the event will go to Helpful Hands. This competition allows our attendees to sample each team’s finest chicken wings.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
BL: Guest appearances include:
Bubba Wilson and The Jeff Howell Band - bringing the spirit of the Big Easy to our stage.
Paul Stott Duo - masters of acoustic blues and classic rock.
Michelle Lambert - currently touring outside Florida with her new EP, Angel.
Megan Katarina was a co-writer on Tyler Rich’s EP, “Valerie,” which climbed to #5 on iTunes Country.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
BL: This event features the best BBQ in town, so attendees should get ready to get messy! We also have desserts and carnival food vendors to keep the kids happy.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
BL: Our website has information about local hotels and lodging options, and there is also Canterbury Retreat that features unique cabins.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
BL: The Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oviedo work with Helpful Hands, and a portion of our profits go to supporting their effort to help families in need.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
BL: We make our events special by our personal touches. Individuals who come from other areas get a sense of what our community is about and enjoy the feel of the event. There have been several families that have moved to Oviedo/Winter Springs area after enjoying our community events. We hope you can join us this year!
For more information about the Central Florida BBQ Blowout, please visit the event website.