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


Tri City BBQ Fest 3 07/29/2016

Denison, IA - It may be the first days of summer, but thousands of BBQ fans are already thinking about ways to heat up their fall plans. Thankfully, the organizers of the Tri City BBQ Fest have officially announced the third annual event will once again return on the third weekend in September. As a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event, the festival is locked in to the third weekend of September on the national calendar. The community’s signature tourism event has drawn hordes of hungry visitors to Uptown Denison for two years in a row, and staff at the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County(CDC) believes they have plans to make this the festival’s best year ever in both number of visitors and the quality of their experience.

In 2014, the CDC created the "signature" event of the community to not only attract visitors but market the community to potential businesses and residents. The festival is also aimed at boosting community pride and to show appreciation for the county’s major employers in the meat industry. The economic impact is a nice perk as well – according to a professional tourism study the festival generated $1,635,688 in economic activity in 2015, with $431,932 in "net direct impact" (or the amount of new dollars left in the community by non-local visitors). The total impact of the event increased by 94% compared to the inaugural event. Attendance estimates were also up at 10,000 to 12,000 total visitors each day. Though the event is targeted at the "Tri City" residents of Omaha, Des Moines and Sioux City, last year’s visitors came from much farther including California, New York and Florida.

National headline bands are planned again for both nights but organizers are implementing changes in hopes of creating the best visitor experience yet. More vendors and attractions are expected and small tweaks in the layout should make big improvements. For instance, a second small stage is planned to deliver free music right on Broadway in the beer garden. Attendees to the headline concerts each night will be allowed to set up lawn chairs behind the main "standing only" section. Some other additions to be announced soon are aimed at attracting a more diverse crowd this year.

"It’s clear that recognition of the event is growing as we enter our third year," said Evan Blakley, Executive Director of the CDC, "And I dare to say we may have become the biggest BBQ festival in the state in just two years. The work our staff and volunteers have put in is really paying off for the community." The Denison Tourism Board has again provided the first contributions to help the event return. As a non-profit event, the festival depends on sponsors to help cover expenses so organizers are in the process of reaching out to local businesses for help. Fans of the festival can stay informed of the latest announcements at or


Contact: Evan Blakley, Executive Director, CDC - - 712.263.55621

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