The heat is on: BBQ & Blues in Cocoa Village

Lyn Dowling, For FLORIDA TODAY

Fourth annual BBQ & Blues event kicks off with barbecue goods, pub crawl and family-friendly fun.

Allan Chapman, who is program manager for Historic Cocoa Village, was discussing the attractiveness of the cool, restored downtown area when the subject turned to the major celebrations and festivals for which the district has become known.2014-poster-jpeg-web

“Have you heard about BBQ & Blues?” he asked. “It is an annual event and it is huge.”

So it is, with more than 10,000 people expected to jam the village Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, in a Florida Bar-B-Que Association-sanctioned affair. Some of the better barbecue masters in the region will participate.

“We have 45 teams from all over the Southeast, including Georgia and Alabama, and we even have a team coming from as far away as Missouri,” said Emma Fitzpatrick of Ossorio restaurant, who is organizing the event, which is now in its fourth year. “Sixty judges from all over the state will be here, so that means about 250 people will be coming into town strictly for the competition.”

The blues component figures to draw crowds, too, with entertainment by children’s groups at 5 p.m. Friday at Riverfront Park.

“We thought that was important because proceeds from this year’s festival will go to the Brevard Schools Foundation, which supports school music programs,” Fitzpatrick said.

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