Chamber and Development Corp of Crawford County
Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County | 18 South Main Street | Denison, Iowa51442
Phone: 712-263-5621 or 263-6622 | Fax: 712-263-4789 | E-Mail: Contact


Crawford County Fires Up a New Signature Tourism Event 02/04/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                                                                               February 5, 2014

Crawford County Fires Up a New Signature Tourism Event
Tri City BBQ Fest to pit three metros in competition on September 19-20


Denison, IA – A community renowned for producing quality meats for much of the country will celebrate a new event aimed at welcoming barbeque lovers from hundreds of miles away. The first annual Tri City BBQ Fest will invite competitors from Omaha, Des Moines and Sioux City (as well as the rest of the US) to descend on Denison to battle for cash, prizes and fame. The September 19 and 20 event will be a State Championship sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society(KCBS). The Chamber and Development Council(CDC) of Crawford County, who is organizing the event, says features will include live music, the Iowa Craft Beer Tent, carnival games and other attractions. The CDC’s goal is to attract at least 3,000 visitors from outside the general area in the event’s first year.


The competition will feature a special Best Metro award and traveling trophy to one of the three nearby metro areas, represented by the highest scoring overall competitor from that city as decided by Certified KCBS judges. The Grand Champion award can go to a competitor from anywhere in the US, and the People’s Choice award will allow average visitors to play judge and sample many entries.


The CDC has been planning the Tri City BBQ Fest since April of 2013, when Tourism Coordinator Michele Ertz was hired to organize new ways to attract visitors that boost the local economy by way of increased commerce, hotel stays and local sales tax revenues. Evan Blakley, Executive Director of the CDC shared his vision with Michele of the “signature event” that could not only attract visitors but boost community pride and appreciation for the county’s major employers in the meat industry. The idea turned into reality when the Denison Tourism Board, funded by Denison’s hotel and motel tax revenues, awarded a substantial grant to the CDC in support of the festival. In return, the CDC will rebate any proceeds from the event to the board, so it can decide how to reinvest in next year’s event. The CDC estimates the two-day event will bring at least $500,000 to area businesses and organizations.


“This may likely be the largest and most complex event this community has planned in some time,” said Michele Ertz, Tourism Coordinator. “It will take the support of dozens of volunteers, our business community and local officials to make this a success.” More details will be released in the coming weeks.


Contact: Michele Ertz · Crawford County Tourism Coordinator · 712.263.5621 ·

Evan Blakley · Executive Director, CDC · 712.263.5621 ·


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