After missing two years due to the pandemic, the Smokin' in Steele BBQ and Blues Festival returns in 2022 to the county fairgrounds on June 3-4. The event features professional and amateur BBQ competitions, music, a car show, and food vendors. Profits benefit the Owatonna Area Special Olympics and other local charities.

Smokin' in Steele originated in 2008 and is presented by the Owatonna Knights of Columbus. The fest is a three-time winner of the Southern Minnesota Scene Readers Poll for Best Music Festival.

A press release lists these highlights for the gathering.

  • Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned competition
  • amateur backyard BBQ cook-off
  • a Kids Q cooking competition
  • live Blues music in the Beer Garden (ticket required)
  • free music in Fair Square Park
  • car show
  • food vendors
  • on-site camping
  • Sunday, June 5 breakfast

Schedule for Friday, June 3

  • 11 am, food vendors open for lunch
  • 4:45 pm, Jeff Ray/Hurrican Harold, Park Square
  • 5 pm, Opening greetings and Pro BBQ team instructions
  • 5:15 pm, Kids Q cook-off begins
  • 6 pm, Tullie Brae, Beer Garden
  • 8 pm, Terry Quiett Band, Beer Garden

Schedule on Saturday, June 4

  • 7 am, Backyard amateur BBQ competition
  • 9 am, 5K walk/run (untimed and informal event)
  • 11 am, food vendors open
  • 11:30 am, Little Wing Duo, Park Square
  • 12 - 4 pm, car show, tractor cruise
  • 1:30 pm, Mark Cameron, Park Square
  • 4 pm, Award ceremony
  • 5 pm, RB Stone, Beer Garden
  • 7 pm, Craig Erickson, Beer Garden
  • 9 pm, The Jimmys, Beer Garden

Tickets to the Beer Garden are $10. Visit their Facebook page for updates.

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