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May 31

Smoke on the Plains: BBQ, Music & Fun

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 4:00 PM by Kristy Bansemer

Derby’s 150th year so far has been one to remember, but 2019 is going to get even better. The City is holding its 9th annual BBQ festival at High Park on June 6-8. The event has a new name, new look and new features.

Let me introduce to you the Smoke on the Plains BBQ & Music Fest. The event has maintained its charm with the professional and backyard BBQ competitions, kids corner with fun and free activities, food trucks, beer garden and more. New attractions in 2019 include live music on Friday night, Saturday mid-day and Saturday evening, a cornhole tournament, and a carnival!

I’ve heard great things about the bands, which include 80s cover band Paramount at 7 p.m. on Friday. Saturday’s line-up features the folk and bluegrass sounds of Haymakers starting at 11 a.m., and Saturday night we will enjoy the red dirt sounds of Morrison County and Mountain Deer Revival.

You might ask, what is red dirt music? Interestingly enough, it is a style of country music that comes out of Stillwater, Oklahoma. I read that “It’s basically the rebellious side of country music, and the mindset is as important as the music itself. Most of the time it has a folky sound to it, but the lyrics are often edgier than the more mellow styles of country music.”

Another great thing about this event is the proceeds benefit the McConnell Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center, which supports families with deployed service members. Most of us have a neighbor or friend who has a connection to McConnell and know how important support is when a parent is deployed.

Each year, City Council Member Vaughn Nun and I have the opportunity to welcome all of the BBQ teams to Derby on Friday night. We like chatting with them and hearing their feedback about our community and event. We have gotten to know many of the teams as they return to Derby year after year.

I would like to thank our generous sponsors, as this event wouldn’t be possible without them. We have nearly 20 businesses support the event. These businesses help us continue to offer free admission to all attendees.

Visit or the “Derby BBQ and Music Fest” page on Facebook to learn more and make your weekend plans. I hope to see you next weekend at Smoke on the Plains!

Randy White

Published in the Derby Informer on May 29, 2019.