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Maryland State BBQ Bash is smokin' for 2014

Guest line up for award winning barbeque at the annual Maryland State BBQ Bash in Bel Air, Maryland.
Guest line up for award winning barbeque at the annual Maryland State BBQ Bash in Bel Air, Maryland.
David L Jennings

The fresh air around downtown Bel Air will be filled with the pleasant aroma of hickory and barbeque next weekend, August 8th & 9th, as the 2014 Maryland State BBQ Bash returns for another year. More than fifty teams are expected to compete in the cash prizes and the chance to compete in the annual Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN and The American Royal in Kansas City, MO.

In addition to the smell of hickory smoked meat cooking and the taste of great food, the air will be filled with the sounds of live music from local bands and country music from Nashville. The action begins Friday, August 8th at 4:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 10:00 p.m.

What the competition means for guests at the annual Bel Air Bash is a choice of the best BBQ pulled pork, chicken, ribs, and brisket from throughout the country. Last year the Grand Champion honors went to 4:20 Q from Hagerstown, MD, with pit master Jay Reeder.

The Bel Air Downtown Alliance is the host for this event with Mars Super Markets, as the presenting sponsor. WXCY 103.7 FM is sponsoring the main stage with live entertainment throughout the event. Come early to taste the great food and to visit craft vendors and kids activities.

While the entertainment is free and open to the public each vendor charges for their food and drink creations. There is a change this year with the Bel Air Downtown Alliance collecting a $1.00 donation/admission fee at the Beer & Wine Garden, a section of the event roped off for beer and wine consumption. All proceeds will go the Alliance, a non-profit Main Street Maryland organization dedicated to creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination, according to their website.

Look for the winners from last year to try and retain their titles against the challenge of other BBQ teams vie for the top spots in the Championship category and in the Tailgate Challenge. Last year's champions were 4:20 Q as the Grand Champion, and Fire Fighting BBQ Team the Reserve Champion. First place in the other championship categories were: Fat Maxine's for chicken; 3 Eyz BBQ for ribs; Jacked Up BBQ with a perfect score of 180 for pork and the Fire Fighting BBQ Team for Brisket.

Winners of the Maryland State BBQ Bash Tailgate Challenge Award were: Brew & Q for Grand Champion; Country Boy's BBQ as Reserve Grand Champion; A-K BBQ took 3rd place; Thunderstruck BBQ at 4th; and Green Ridge BBQ taking 5th place honors.