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Chamber hosts 'Smoke of the River' BBQ Festival this Saturday
BBQ chicken
The smell of barbecued chicken, pork and tri-tip will be filling the air of the Tuolumne River Lodge this Saturday along with the sounds of live music. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The smell of barbecued meat will be wafting in the air along with the sounds of live music on the banks of the Tuolumne River on Saturday, Aug. 29 for the second annual "Smoke on the River" event. The Ceres Chamber of Commerce is hosting the barbecue challenge and music festival at the Tuolumne River Lodge, 2429 River Road.

"We've got 19 contestants that are going to be competing for the championship title and we've got quite a variety of microbrews that are going to be represented as well," said Renee Ledbetter, president of the sponsoring Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and include a barbecue competition as well as live music. Advance tickets are $10 per adult, $7 for seniors and $5 for children aged 5-12. Admission at the gate costs $15 per adult, $10 per senior and $7 per child. Tickets are now being sold at the Ceres Chamber of Commerce office, 2938 Fourth Street; or at CrossRoads Feed & Ranch Supply, 118 Albers Road.

Those who come are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. No outside food, ice chests or pets are allowed in the area.

Music will be provided by Greg Scudder and the Beer:30, Highway 99 Band and the Black Rose Band.

Commercial exhibitions will also be present. Barbecued food items will include tri-tip and pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs be sold at Central Valley and Ceres High schools band boosters. Arts and crafts vendors will be present. Ice cream, shaved ice and kettle corn will also be sold. Face painting for the kids and other activities will be offered.

Although the event is not a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event, judges are provided by the California BBQ Association. Barbecue tastings will be offered at 2 p.m. until gone. Tickets for samples are $1 each.

Barbecue teams will include the Ceres based teams of JnJ's Smokin' BBQ, the Smokey River Boys, Copper Kitchen BBQ, O's BBQ; the Modesto teams of Beer Belly BBQ, Meat Liquidators and Hero BBQ of Modesto; the Turlock team of Full Barrel BBQ and Smokin' Guns BBQ; as well as Smokey Boys BBQ of Madera, Off the Hook BBQ of Clovis, Smokin' Ts BBQ of Waterford, Rob's Smokin' Rub BBQ Crew of Manteca, Smokin' the Bandit BBQ of Plumas Lake, 5W BBQ of Clovis, David & Robin Jones of Escalon, Hello BBQ of San Jose, Biggety Q's Brothers BBQ, and Howlin' BBQ of Los Angeles.

For more information about tickets, or vendor and contestant participation, contact the Ceres Chamber of Commerce website, or call at 537-2601.

Commercial vendors Booster Clubs proceeds back to band clubs.