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Major Fundraising Festival Brings BBQ, Music, Wrestling & More to Lake Placid

Why You Can’t Miss the 16th Annual I Love BBQ & Music Festival, Sept 2 - 4, 2022

The I Love BBQ & Music Festival of Lake Placid started out with 16 barbecue teams competing in 2005, and has now grown to four dozen teams. This major fundraising event has raised more than $300,000 over the years for Lake Placid’s Shipman Youth Center, and they’re not stopping there.

image split in three of barbecue on the grill, man eating barbecue, and barbecue trophies

Keep reading to check out what's happening for 2022, including a new competition and an internationally renowned musical act! Plus, read up on why the Shipman Youth Center, which receives 100% of festival proceeds, is such a great cause to support.

Get a Rundown of the Highlights

people at festival

"We are expecting 40 professional barbecue teams from around the country and abroad to attend," said Dmitry Feld, Chief Organizer of the festival, President of the Shipman Youth Center, and Marketing Manager for USA Luge.

There are multiple competitions taking place throughout the festival, with the primary contest being those 40 teams competing to win the title of Grand Champion. The competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. New this year, there will be a KCBS steak competition!

bounce houses

Festival fans can also look forward to the return of Buck-A-Rib, the most popular event at the festival. This is a public tasting event, with ribs prepared by competitive teams. Pay $1 per rib to get in on the tasting and judging!

In addition, there will be live music from multiple bands, kids activities, arts and crafts, a vendor exposition, food demonstrations, food tastings, Krusher Stunt Team Free Style BMX Bike Shows, and professional wrestling shows with celebrity appearances. 

Be Ready to Experience Professional Wrestling 

wrestling show at the festival

Last year, 2021, was the first time the festival introduced professional wrestling. When Feld read about Performance Arts Connection (PAC) raising money for a school in Moriah, he knew he wanted this organization to be a part of the festival; PAC is a nonprofit that specializes in action wrestling shows to support various needs of the community.

The addition of wrestling to the festival proved successful, so the group is returning again this year, and they're bringing a few wrestling stars with them: Crusher Bigelow (Hardcore Iron), Scrap Iron (The Iron Man of PAC), and more!

You can expect a kid-friendly, family-focused wrestling show from PAC, which by the way, does not accept compensation for the shows the group does. "We've done similar events to this dating back to 2010," PAC wrestler Justin Gaddor told us. PAC has performed at fundraisers for causes like a food pantry, Toys for Tots, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and suicide awareness. 

For more on what to anticipate from the exciting performance, you can check out PAC on Facebook. Wrestling takes place on Saturday from 7pm to 8:30pm, and on Sunday from 11:15am to 12:30pm.

Look Forward to Seeing this Homegrown Musical Legend

The Gibson Brothers poster

New this year, bluegrass royalty duo The Gibson Brothers is headlining the I Love BBQ & Music Festival! The group has twice been named International Bluegrass Music Awards' Entertainers of the Year.

"Adding the Gibson Brothers to our event will truly elevate the festival, and hopefully add many more in attendance to raise money for the Shipman Youth Center," Feld said.

The Gibson Brothers have 14 albums under their belt, and the most recent, Mockingbird from 2018, draws from brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson's experiences being raised on a family farm in Plattsburgh; Plattsburgh is just about an hour from Lake Placid, where the festival takes place.

The Gibson Brothers will perform on the first night of the festival, Friday, from 7pm to 8:30pm.

Check Out the Full Festival Schedule 

music group performs

Here's the full schedule of events for 2022:

Friday, September 2

Please note: While the cost per person is typically $6 per person per day, with kids under 10 free, due to the Gibson Brothers performance, from 5pm to 9pm on Friday the entry per person is $15 (kids under 10 are still free). 

Music Performers & Entertainment

  • 1pm: Gates open
  • 2pm - 3pm: The Apollos
  • 3pm - 3:45pm: Mad Dog 
  • 4pm - 4:45pm: Sven Garth
  • 5pm - 5:45pm: Ersa and the Major Key 
  • 5pm - 5:40pm: Top Chef Food Presentation
  • 6pm - 6:20pm: Free Style BMX Bikes Krusher Stunt Team Performance
  • 7:30pm - 9pm: The Gibson Brothers 
  • All day: Children's fun inflatables attractions, food and beverage available to purchase, additional vendors

BBQ Competitions

  • 5pm: Judges meet with KCBS Master Judges Weidner and McKee
  • 6pm: KCBS Steak Competition
  • 9pm: Doors close
split image with pulled pork on the left and a large bacon wrap on the right

Saturday, September 3

Music Performers & Entertainment

  • 11:30am: Gates open
  • 12pm - 12:45pm: Crosswinds Jam Band
  • 1pm - 1:45pm: Scott Sileo
  • 1pm - 2:30pm: Buck a Rib/Best Ribs in the East (People's Choice - $1, 1 rib)
  • 2pm - 2:20pm: Free Style BMX Bikes Krusher Stunt Team Performance
  • 2:20pm - 3pm: Julia Rose Studio
  • 3:20pm - 4pm: JT Cubbanah
  • 4:20pm - 5pm: Crooked Bricks
  • 5:20pm - 6pm: Larry Stone
  • 6pm - 6:20pm: Free Style BMX Bikes Krusher Stunt Team Performance
  • 6:20pm - 7pm: Carl Rubio
  • 7pm - 8:30pm: Performance Arts Connection (PAC) Professional Wrestling With Stars Like Crusher Bigelow (Hardcore Icon) and Scrap Iron (The Iron Man of PAC), and others
  • All day: Children's fun inflatable attractions, food, beverages available to purchase, additional vendors

BBQ Competitions

  • 11am: Celebrity Judges Meet with Master Judges Linda and Jerry Mullane at the VIP building
  • 5:30pm - 6pm: Quinn Family Barbecue & Hot Sauce Competition
  • 6:30pm: All teams participating in KCBS Competition meet with KCBS Master Judges Louis Weidner and Bob McKee at the VIP building
  • 7pm: Awards Ceremonies for Best Ribs in the East, Quinn Family Barbecue & Hot Sauce Competition, and KCBS Steak Competition
  • 8:30pm: Gates close
trio of pics with man preparing barbecue ribs, barbecue ribs, and peppers and onions

Sunday, September 4

Musical Performers & Entertainment

  • 11am: Gates open
  • 11:15am - 12:30pm: Performance Arts Connection (PAC) Professional Wrestling With Stars Like Crusher Bigelow (Hardcore Icon) and Scrap Iron (The Iron Man of PAC), and others
  • 12:40pm - 1:20pm: Pat Duffy
  • 1pm - 1:20pm: Free Style BMX Bikers Krusher Stunt Team Performance
  • 1:20pm - 2pm: Dos En Uno
  • 2:20pm - 3pm: All Without the Bass
  • 3:20pm - 4pm: Austin and the Laws

The Judging Process

  • 9am: Judges sign in for KCBS contest at the VIP building
  • 10:15am Judges for KCBS contest must be in judging area for their seat assignment 
  • 10:30am: Judges meeting with KCBS Master Judges Louis Weidner and Bob McKee
  • 11:55am: Judging begins

KCBS Sanctioned Event & Awards

  • 12pm: Chicken Turn-In
  • 12:30pm: Ribs Turn-In
  • 1pm: Pork Butt/Shoulder Turn-In
  • 1:30pm: Beef Brisket Turn-In
  • 4pm: Awards Ceremonies & Raffle Drawing*
  • 5pm: The festival is over, but gates remain open for food sales until vendors close
  • All day: Children's fun inflatable attractions, food, beverages available to purchase, additional vendors

The Grand Champion of the barbecue competition wins $1,500, 2nd place gets $1,000, and third place also gets $1,000. Each subsequent barbecue category winner receives $500, for a total of $9,000 of cash prizes being given out.

*Raffle tickets cost $50 each, with only 300 tickets available. You can visit to purchase a ticket, and you'll be sent your ticket number. Remember, proceeds benefit the Shipman Youth Center!

Find Out Why You'll Feel Awesome Supporting the Shipman Youth Center

group of people pose together at the festival

All proceeds from the I Love BBQ & Music Festival go toward the Shipman Youth Center, and have each year. The Shipman Youth Center works with USA Luge and local sponsors to coordinate volunteers and funds for the event.

The Shipman Youth Center in Lake Placid was inspired by Thomas Shipman, a youth police officer who passed away at just 39 years old in 1995. He always wanted a local youth center, and the community made it happen.

This youth center has provided hundreds of services for local kids and teens, including recreational services, volunteer opportunities, and just a general, safe place for kids to hang out five days a week.

Make Your Labor Day Weekend BBQ Festival Plans

two guys eating barbecue fare at festival

The I Love BBQ & Music Festival was named one of the Top 10 Barbecue Festivals in America by USA Today in 2016. After learning more, we’re not surprised! Plan to attend one or more festival days this Labor Day Weekend, September 2 - 4, 2022.

The Festival takes place at the North Elba showgrounds in Lake Placid, at 5514 Cascade Road, across from the Olympic Ski jumps. You can find directions, info on how to become a judge, and more at their website, linked below.

Bonus Tips for the Festival: Where to Stay & Eat While You're in Lake Placid

Coming from out of town? Festival organizers recommend the following businesses for places to stay, eat, and more: Best Western Adirondack Inn, Adirondack Premier Properties, Golden Arrow Resort, Wildwood on the Lake Motel, Coakley Home & Hardware, and of course, the Shipman Youth Center.

Visit their website for more details >>

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