Smokin’ in McMinnville organizers have announced entertainment for the upcoming barbecue event will include an Aug. 11 performance by Australian-born country music artist Craig Morrison.
Morrison is hot off the 2012 Country Music Association Music Festival stage from June 7-10. This will be his first performance in Warren County.
“I have not played in Warren County before, but I am really looking forward to the opportunity,” said Morrison. “And, I haven’t been to Warren County yet, so this will be my first time to make some friends there.”
An accomplished and award-winning artist back home in Australia, the Sydney native moved to Nashville in 2011 and caught the public’s attention with “Fences.” A self-titled album containing the song was released May 1 in the states through Morrison’s own Lucky 53s label and Nashville-based digital record label GMV Nashville.
Morrison says he will have T-shirts, CDs and posters available for anyone who would like to purchase them, with an autograph possible for those who come early or stay late.
“Yes, of course,” said Morrison, when asked about getting his autograph on items. “I would love the opportunity to meet fans before and after the event on Saturday.”
Leading up Morrison’s performance, local bands will be performing throughout Saturday and Utopia will take the stage Friday from 7-9 p.m.
Utopia specializes in classic R&B dance music, modern hits, selected oldies, jazz and blues standards performed by a seven-member band consisting of J.T. Northcutt, Doyle Pentecost, Brent Woodard, Brian Justice, John Steverson, Seth Rooks and Thomas Spann Jr.
Smokin’ in McMinnville, a two-day event, is presented by the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and the city of McMinnville. It is a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event, which means professional teams will roll into townand be judged by specially trained and certified KCBS judges.
Local barbecue teams wanting a feel of the major leagues can enter the Backyard Barbecue Competition and be judged alongside professional teams by the same judges. While professional teams can compete in chicken, ribs, pork or brisket, backyard teams can enter the chicken and/ or ribs portion of the competition.
What teams, professional and backyard, will be vying for is a portion of $12,000 in prize money that is up for grabs.
For individuals who look, but don’t cook, a vast assortment of vendors will be on hand offering food, beverages and crafts from throughout the state. Also, visitors can be the judge of the “Best of the Butts” Charity Competition on Aug. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
Considered a family friendly event, a children’s play zone, inflatables and Gilley Pool will be available. For more information, please call the Chamber at 473-6611, or visit www.smokininmcminnville.com.