Annual barbecue fest to serve up helping of Southern soul

The annual Winter Garden Blues & BBQ festival pairs soulful music with smoky, succulent barbecue for a taste of southern soul.

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  • | 2:31 p.m. February 7, 2018
Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ will be one of the vendors at Winter Garden’s Blues & BBQ Festival this Saturday.
Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ will be one of the vendors at Winter Garden’s Blues & BBQ Festival this Saturday.
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From fall-off-the-bone ribs and mouth-watering pulled pork to blistering guitar licks and soulful singing, the seventh annual Winter Garden Blues and BBQ festival promises to satisfy anyone yearning for a touch of Southern style.

Scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the city’s downtown pavilion, this year’s musical lineup will feature Ari & The Alibis (4 p.m.), followed by Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones (6 p.m.) and Albert Castiglia (8 p.m.). Admission is free, and barbecue, beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Festival attendees also can enjoy barbecue from 11 different vendors, including 4Rivers Smokehouse, Uncle Eddie’s Bar-B-Q and Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ.

“The festival pairs some of the hottest Blues and Roots musicians, grown in the state of Florida, with award-winning local barbecue connoisseurs for an afternoon celebration of true Southern soul,” Winter Garden Recreation Manager Jackie Mathis said. “To complement our barbecue vendors, we will have two dessert/snack vendors, as well as two festival-related vendors. The Orange Blossom Blues Society will be joining us, as well as the House of Blues.” 

Leigh Doyle, vice president of Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ in Ocoee, said this will be the restaurant’s fifth year participating

“We love it every year,” he said. “It’s actually, for special events, our highlight (event). Every year, it just seems to get better and better. … It’s fun. You have great music, you have great food — whether it’s from us or anybody else — and the guests just have a great time. It’s just a fun event to work.”

Doyle said this will be the first year the restaurant brings its signature dish to the festival: Kansas City Wet.

“It’s a combination of our pork, brisket, rib meat, and it’s mixed with our Kansas City sweet sauce, which is our most popular sauce,” Doyle said.


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