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BBQ Bands & Brew set for Sunday at Centennial Park

By Staff | Apr 5, 2018

The popular BBQ Bands & Brew fundraiser has changed locations this year to Centennial Park, providing attendees with more space to enjoy the delicious food, local bands and a variety of activities for all ages.

The ninth annual BBQ Bands & Brew will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street in the Historic Fort Myers River District.

It previously was held at Alliance for the Arts.

Lee BIA Builders Care Executive Director Christi Pritchett said the event began when the nonprofit organization was looking for a fun and unique way to raise money for their program that helps elderly and disabled homeowners with an emergency.

That initial idea nine years ago has been deemed successful with $85,000 being raised from BBQ Bands & Brew alone last year.

“Since we started this event we have seen many others pop up like our event. We are very pleased with the success that we have seen over the almost decade,” Pritchett said, adding it is an event they are not looking to quit anytime soon.

The move to Centennial Park this year was driven by the event’s success.

“We were at the Alliance for the Arts for the past eight years. We out grew that location. Centennial Park is several acres larger,” Pritchett said.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for kids 12 years old and younger.

The popular event will feature 10 different food vendors, including Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, Big Smoke BBQ, Bobby’s Rangin’ BOB-B-Que, BurgerQue, Cinnamon City, Currier’s Smokin’ Hot BBQ, Famous Dave’s, Jonesez BBQ, Nawty Hogg BBQ and Smokin R’s BBQ.

“They are small portions of food from all of our vendors. We have something for everyone and it is very affordable food,” Pritchett said.

“Best BBQ in Town,” the barbecue contest, will also be named during the event.

A cornhole tournament will be held at noon, open to all ages. Registration will be held from 11 a.m. to noon the day of the event. Pritchett said participants can bring a partner, or they can pair them up with someone.

“We are giving away $500 cash to the winner of that,” she said.

The live music will feature local bands Rocker from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Chasing Dallas from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Deb & The Dynamics from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Soulixer from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition there will be an entire area designated for the kids with such activities as crafts, a balloon artist, bounce houses and a petting zoo.

“There is something for everyone,” she said.

Builders Care, a 501c3 organization, was founded in 2005 by members of the Lee Building Industry Association.

The members of the association were looking for a meaningful way to give back, she said, adding that it only made sense for the construction and development industry to help homeowners who are in need.

“We help elderly and disabled (homeowners) with critical home repairs that they could not afford through traditional means,” she said.

The program is kind of open-ended, Pritchett said, due to the organization providing a helping hand for anything related to the homeowner’s health or safety that would prohibit them from living in their home. She said it could be anything from plumbing, electrical, roof repair, to someone recently having an injury and is in need of a wheelchair ramp.

“As long as they own their home, reside in Lee County and are elderly, or disabled, we are fortunate that we can adapt to whatever those needs might be,” Pritchett said.

For more information about the event, visit www.bbqbandsandbrew.com.