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    Nation’s best barbecue at Bluemont Bash

    Photo Courtesy/Jaclyn Jenkins The 3rd annual Bluemont BBQ Bash and Blackberry Bonanza, taking place July 26-28 at Great Country Farms, will feature more than 31 participants in this year’s annual Kentucky City Barbeque Society state certified competition.
    The 3rd annual Bluemont BBQ Bash and Blackberry Bonanza, taking place July 26-28 at Great Country Farms, will feature more than 31 participants in this year's annual Kentucky City Barbeque Society state certified competition.

    The event boasts the nation's best barbecue after last year's festival winner, 3 Eyz BBQ, went on to be ranked No. 1 out of 6,296 KCBS competitors across the country. 3 Eyz will be returning to defend its title, once again putting their masterpieces to the test for the four required categories: ribs, pulled pork, chicken and beef brisket.

    Guests on July 26 will get the chance to meet the different barbecue teams before the actual July 27 competition.

    Four local barbecue teams will attend this year. Cadillac Ranch BBQ from Bluemont, Smokin-N-Style from Sterling, Smoke Dreams BBQ from Ashburn and The Smoked Hog from Lovettsville are all vying for the trophy.

    The People's Choice Competition will also take place on July 26. This laid-back portion of the festival gives guests the opportunity to try five samples and rank them. People's Choice Tickets may be purchased in advance or on July 26 at 11 a.m. and proceeds go to the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors. While general admission is $12 per adult or $10 in advance, tickets that include people's choice are an additional $13.

    New to the festival this year is the Backyard BBQ Competition on July 28.

    "It's the first year we're doing the [Backyard BBQ Competition]. It's for people who don't want to compete in the national competition, but still want to try out their barbecuing skills," said Jaclyn Jenkins of Great Country Farms.

    As a new event, there are only five participants this year. Three of these competitors are local: 2 Rhodies BBQ and Round Hillbilly BBQ are from Round Hill and HammerDown Barbecue is from Aldie.

    While barbecue is the focus of the event, the Blackberry Bonanza Dessert Competition is also a major feature. Participants include barbecue teams, bakers and cooking enthusiasts who must use Great Country Farms' blackberries to create a unique dessert.

    Last year's festival was a huge success and was even voted Event of the Year for an event with more than 3,000 participants by Visit Loudoun.

    "Everybody loved [the festival]," said Jenkins. "We are a local farm. People get to come pick blackberries, try the barbecue, there's a huge play area for children. There's just so much to do."

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