Once a year during May, the Anne Arundel Fairgrounds hosts a great foodie event. For those of you out there that love barbeque, this was the event for you. The 2017 Naptown barBAYq took place on Saturday, May 6th, and did not disappoint. The location in Crownsville, only a couple of miles outside of Annapolis, was spread out over numerous roaming fields with lots of different food trucks and vendors selling arts & crafts and BBQ related gifts.
When I arrived at the festival, I was instantly hit by the strong aroma of Barbeque wafting from the numerous grills and smokers on location. There were plenty of different choices of BBQ on offer from pulled pork, beef brisket, pulled chicken, and BBQ ribs with each vendor offering a variation of flavors and sauces to compliment the cooked meats.
One of the main attractions of the event was the award winning barbeque company, Smoke Shack Barbeque Company, that came all the way from Columbus Ohio. They even brought along a whole stack of awards they received from the many competitions they’ve won. Their food was to die for, and they had long lines of people waiting patiently to be fed.
As the event got under way, we were entertained by some amazing bands, including Case and Barley, The Reggie Wayne Morris Band, and Pretty Big Deal to name just a few. The music carried on throughout the day. There was also a lot of things to keep the little ones busy like face painting and a really awesome play area complete with cornhole and other activities.
There was also an ongoing Barbecue tasting competition through the day called The People’s Choice Awards were festival goers had the opportunity to sample numerous freshly cooked BBQ foods and vote on what was the best in their opinion.
While sampling the amazing food, there were also many different choices of beers, wines, and soft drinks to wash it all down. Stan and Joe’s Saloon had a couple of pop up bars set up around the event – they even had a barbeque flavored Ale on offer! This unusual beverage was called Dry Rubbed Pale Ale by the Duclaw Brewing co., and it was literally like drinking BBQ., It was really strong on the barbecue flavor and it really complimented your taste buds when paired with the food on hand.
There were plenty of samples to try before deciding on a main course. Make sure you show up next year with an appetite as there was so many choices – it was so hard to resist trying a sample from nearly every vendor. The weather wasn’t really great, but a lot of people showed up and got into the spirit of things. This unique festival was really enjoyable, so if you are a barbeque enthusiast like my husband is (who is from Texas and knows his Barbeque), you would really appreciate it too!
Can’t wait for next year!
Photos courtesy of Sinead Harold