Although my father's parents passed away while I was young, I still have vivid memories of our visits to their farm. The sound of animals in the yard while someone was working on an old truck (or tractor), the smell of my grandmother rendering lard in the kitchen with the back door open to control the stench, the warmth of their wood burning stove while we ate lunch listening to my father and grandfather playing guitar and singing old country songs. Going there was walking back in time. Most of my knowledge of country music stems from my father's upbringing where TVs didn't exist and your night time entertainment was playing music and singing songs that your dad/grandpa used to sing.
Perhaps it was these memories that made me fall in love with Bluegrass music in the first place. Bluegrass truly is all about your roots and getting back to what's important. So, it seems natural that I get excited every year when the Bluegrass & BBQ Festival comes to Silver Dollar City.
The festival boasts over 60 Bluegrass bands playing on stages all around the park. There is plenty of "pickin' and grinnin'" going on, which is enough to make me dance my way through the park. However, it's the intoxicating and lingering aroma of smoky barbecue that makes you want to run for the nearest grill pit to see what's cooking. The House of BBQ located in the Red Gold Heritage Hall features an indoor stage and plenty of bench style seating for those looking to enjoy over 6 BBQ and dessert stations. On Fridays and Saturday afternoons, there is all-you-can-eat BBQ at Reunion Hall. Throughout the park are plenty of other grill and pitmaster stations with sausages, skillets, and even cooking demonstrations from award-winning barbecue experts.
It is fair to say that I have a soft spot in my heart for all things barbecue. At The Spice & Tea Exchange, we hand mix 5 custom BBQ spice blends honoring different styles and regions of barbecue. If you see me in store, odds are that you'll hear me gushing about my Cinnabar Smoked Ham, Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork, or my Backwoods Hickory Venison Sausage. For me, BBQ is all about the sensory experience. The smells, textures, flavors, and sights all play together in a bold way that brings people together. It touches my heart and makes me want to come home to family. If we seem kindred in this, then you might want to head over to the Bluegrass & BBQ Festival before May 29. It is down home, family fun for all.