Get a taste of blues, BBQ (and beer) starting on Friday
GREENFIELD — The Riverside Blues & BBQ Festival will return to Beacon Field on Friday.
“We love to showcase one of the gems of Greenfield (Beacon Field),” said Christy Moore, the town’s director of recreation. “It’s a wonderful place to hold a festival, with the surrounding mountains and Poet’s Seat Tower standing above.”
Moore said she expects this year’s festival to be as successful as the past two, which welcomed more than 2,000 people each.
“It’s especially beautiful at this time of year, with all of the changing foliage,” said Moore.
The festival, hosted by Franklin County Rotary Club and Greenfield Recreation Department, is sponsored by many local businesses.
The multi-day festival, which begins on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday, will begin with a free movie on Friday night.
The actual festival begins Saturday and will feature everything from the New England Barbecue Society Grill Contest to the Kansas City Barbeque Society BBQ Contest and a BrewFest Samplin’ Saloon.
There will be live music, a People’s Choice barbecue sampling pit, kids’ activities, vendors, contests and more.
The sampling pit will offer chicken on Saturday and pulled pork on Sunday. The tent opens at noon both days and will stay open until the food runs out.
Tickets for the People’s Choice Samplin’ Pit may be purchased at the tent. The cost is $5 for six tickets.
Specialty booths will also be at the festival offering additional food options.
The BrewFest Samplin’ Saloon will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. There will be hundreds of beers to sample. Entrance fee to the BrewFest Samplin’ Saloon is $20.
On Saturday only, the Curious Traveler Shandy will offer free mustache rides on its mustache see-saw and Angry Orchard will have participants bobbing for prizes at its booth.
Some of the contests that will be held throughout the weekend include a Samuel Adams stein-hoisting competition, Curious Traveler Shandy Mustache Contest, Table Talk Pie-Eating Contest, a harp (harmonica) contest, a keg toss, barrel roll and more.
“We are lucky enough to also be able to showcase some outstanding local and national blues musicians, who will be playing live throughout the festival,” said Moore.
Those include Wildcat O’Halloran Band, Boston-based Gracie Curran and the High Falutin’ and local artist Janet Ryan.
Sunday will feature Eva Capelli and the Watershops Band, New York City artist Charlie Hilbert, and national vocalist Vaneese Thomas, daughter of blues legend Rufus Thomas.
The festival will be held rain or shine, according to Moore.
The movie “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything — A Veggie Tales Movie” sponsored by Greenfield Alliance Church will start at 7 p.m. on Friday. Admission to the movie on Beacon Field is free and so is the popcorn. People should bring chairs or blankets.
The festival will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults. Children ages 10 and under are free with a paying adult.
The festival is also sponsored in part by Ryan and Casey Liquors and The Recorder.
For more information, as well as the festival’s full schedule, visit: www.riversidebluesandbbq.com.