KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — May is national barbecue month, and it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy music and food for the unofficial start of summer. There’s no better place to enjoy national barbecue month (or to catch free headline concerts from major artists) than at Sevierville, Tennessee’s nineteenth annual Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival on May 19-20, 2023.

Located in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevierville is a popular family vacation destination with outdoor adventure, world-class theme parks such as Dollywood, and a delightfully cool historic downtown which is the central location for Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival.

At the Bloomin’ BBQ Festival, you’ll find plenty of activities including, the state championship BBQ competition, 50 artists and crafters, kids’ activities, and more than 20 live shows – including headline performances from Yonder Mountain String Band and Sawyer Brown.

This family-friendly event welcomes 32 select cook teams from across the United States to compete for $17,500 in cash and prizes during the Bush’s Best Tennessee State Championship Cook-Off. Three of those championship teams will also vend their slow-smoked specialties – meaning everyone can enjoy award-winning ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and more.

Plus, Bloomin’ BBQ is bringing tons of great music on three stages. “There is such great energy around this year’s event,” says Sevierville Chamber of Commerce director of marketing and communications Amanda Marr. “We always look forward to presenting the best country, bluegrass, and Americana artists in the heart of downtown Sevierville and offering up some of the very best BBQ in the nation. It’s a fun weekend for the whole family and a great reason to visit the Smoky Mountains.” 

More from On the Road with LETN

There will be a plethora of vendors, including Dirt & Grace Customs. The business was created by a mother-daughter duo, and together they make beard oils, cutting boards, and wood items for sale.

The Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival is completely free. To learn more about the event lineup, activities, and parking, check out their website.