Tennessee River BBQ Fest comes to Saltillo this week


The Tennessee River BBQ Fest and music festival is returning to Hardin County this week.

The Kansas City BBQ Society, or KCBS, sanctioned cook-off event will be held in Saltillo on the bank of the Tennessee River.

The Tennessee River BBQ Fest is also a state championship barbecue contest with more than $14,000 in prize money up for grabs.

“Our city is excited to host this great competition event once again, which brings people from all over the state and elsewhere to enjoy good food and live music on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River,” said Saltillo Mayor Greg Billings.

Twenty-plus barbecue teams have entered the cooking contest which includes cookers from Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee.

A highlight of the event is the People’s Choice public food tasting sampling.

“Be sure to sample some of great award-winning barbecue from the champions of the event and vote for your favorite,” encouraged Hardin County Tourism Director Beth Pippin.

The 2023 Tennessee River BBQ Fest takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26, in Saltillo at the intersection of Main St. and Shoreline Drive.

Cookers will be competing on both dates, and the People’s Choice tasting event is on Saturday morning at 11.

“Come enjoy great fun and the heavenly smells of some of the best barbecue in the country. Local food trucks will be on site Friday night and Saturday to please all your taste buds. Live music begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. and admission to the barbecue grounds is free,” Pippin announced.