If you are going to go to one food festival this year, go to the Windy City Smokeout. This year the event is taking place Friday July 15th – Sunday July 17th, and it is one of my favorite events of the summer. The food is top notch, and music is incredible, and the venue feels lively without being over crowded. Smokeout is a hybrid of a food and music festival, that does justice to both the food and the music. And lucky for you, I have teamed up with TownePlace Suites by Marriot to give away two VIP weekend passes to Windy City Smokeout, plus two tickets to their Celebrity Grill Off on Friday.
Unlike most of the other festivals in Chicago, Smokeout features Chicago restaurants as well as BBQ pit masters and competition BBQ teams from around the country.
Local joints including Bub City, Lillie’s Q, Chicago Q, Blackwood BBQ, Smoque BBQ, and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que will be at the fest alongside Hogapalooza Bar-B-Que from Arkansas, four-time barbecue World Champion Myron Mixon from Georgia, Memphis Barbecue Co., Pappy’s Smokeout from St. Louis, Skylight Inn BBQ from North Carolina, and more.
In addition to barbecue, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant from New Orleans, The Salsa Truck, and Big Gay Ice Cream will be serving up food. And fingers crossed that Sir Kensington’s will be offering those amazing waffle fries again this year. Even if you don’t love country music, the food is so good that access to it is worth the price of admission.
Another thing that I love about Smokeout is the way that they manage to turn a highway underpass into a craft beer bar. The space is a shady place to hang out and cool down from the hot sun.
The musical acts at Smokeout this year are a combination of newer and veteran musicians. Phil Vassar and Big & Rich (“Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” is a classic in my opinion) are headlining alongside Chase Rice, Billy Currington, and Old Dominion.
And you can enter to win a pair of VIP passes right here: