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BrooklynQ
05-13-2006, 01:50 PM
Barbecue to take over for chowder at Bluegrass Fest

Change announced during tourism board meeting


After 16 years of quality entertainment and family fun, the Salem Bluegrass and Chowder Festival is undergoing a face lift. At the regular meeting of the Salem Tourism Board on Monday night, the board unanimously approved changing the event to the Southern Illinois Bluegrass and BBQ Festival.
"In doing so, we are broadening the interest base to include a much larger portion of the state," said Jim Reincke, tourism consultant for the City of Salem. "BBQ is the All-American party food, Bluegrass music is an All-American art form, and by joining the two we will be providing one of the best All-American entertainment experiences right here in Salem."

Although plans for the event change have been in the works for several months, it wasn't until Monday's meeting of the Salem Tourism Board that the official launch of the enhanced festival was announced.

Reincke notes that true lovers of Bluegrass music will not be disappointed in this year's line-up, as national touring bands will be an integral part of the three day line-up, Marty Hays, festival co-chair, is pleased to announce the introduction of quality regional and local bands as well.

"From Vintage Jam and the Possum Trot String Band, both from Illinois, to The Churchmen of Virginia, and David Davis and the Warrior River Boys of Alabama, this year's bluegrass line-up will be a lot of fun for the whole family." stated Hays. "All in all, we have bands coming in from at least six different states, with more to be announced soon."
Adding to the excitement of the weekend will be a BBQ cook-off that is looking to draw both local and national contestants. A $5,000 cash purse is up for grabs as contestants will be competing for a $1,500 Grand Champion prize, an $800 Reserve Grand Champion prize, and cash prizes being awarded to the top five finishers of each of the four categories of Ribs, Pork, Chicken and Brisket.

While this year's event is sure to draw renewed interest from the locals, prospective visitors from around the state, region and even nationally have already expressed an interest in coming to Salem for the festival; and the Salem Tourism Board is taking note. A brand new Web site has been launched to help field questions, give directions, and invite visitors to come and experience the hospitality of Salem and its residents. The Web site, www.BluegrassBBQ.com, is the online home of the event and offers useful information for both old and new friends alike.

"Enhancing the event is sure to enhance the level of positive attention Salem receives from prospective visitors and businesses from all over the country. Plans are in place for a national ad campaign to roll-out in June, targeting audiences who are specifically interested in bluegrass and/or BBQ," said Reincke. "The tourism board voted to become a member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world's largest barbeque association, and to apply for official sanctioning from KCBS as well. In doing so, we will be opening the door to near instant credibility from barbeque enthusiasts worldwide. Other competitions in the state have grown by leaps and bounds due, in part, to membership and sanctioning from KCBS."


For longtime fans of the festival, he added, "With the long history, dedicated following, and renewed interest the Bluegrass Festival currently enjoys from visitors nationwide, I expect our sponsors and advertisers will be pleased to see themselves placed in the national spotlight through our advertising and marketing efforts."

Bigmista
05-13-2006, 01:59 PM
THere's a Salem, Il?

willkat98
05-13-2006, 02:06 PM
THere's a Salem, Il?
They make cigarettes there

Seriously I just went and looked at Robs link.

Then did a Mapquest search.

We actually have 2 Salem Illinois's

The promotional WMV on that site looks pretty cool

Needs more BBQ pics though, other than 1 shot of a KCBS symbol