Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jazz, BBQ and Blues... Oh My!

by Ryan Anderes

The weekend of Friday and Saturday, September 11-12 will be the 10th annual downtown LaSalle Jazz'N the Street from 4 until 10pm. Up until two years ago, this festival was held the same weekend as Burgoo - the 2nd weekend in October. But after a couple of 40 degree days for Jazz Fest, it became apparent that hosting an outdoor event in the middle of October was not ideal!

In an effort to try and enjoy some of summer's last remaining nice days, the LaSalle Business Association moved the event to the weekend following Labor Day. Let's keep our fingers crossed for great weather again this year!

And up until last year - in addition to changing the date of the popular event - the committee also added a day to the weekend. On Friday, September 11th, they will be hosting their BBQ-n-Blues event to accompany the Jazz Fest on Saturday evening.

Usually we are the ones promoting food and music, but this week we promote the music of Jazz Fest and encourage food enthusiasts to get out and compete in the BBQ grilling contest Friday night. The contest will be judged, and you will only be allowed to cook over charcoal or wood flame. No electric grills or smokers allowed! A grand prize of $500 will be awarded to the winner... just for cooking some good ol' fashion BBQ ribs!

The contest went so well last year, that this year everyone wants to be a judge. So you can nominate yourself (for $30) and then go out and collect votes online. Those with the most votes (each one is a $1 and goes towards funding the event) will do the honors of serving as a Rib Cook-Off judge.

And even if you're not a participant or judge, we'll be serving up our own rib concoction for the weekend - a baby back rib with chipotle BBQ and applewood smoked bacon.  Combine that with a variety of blues performers outside, and you've got yourself an evening! But why end the fun there?

The Jazz Festival, which is becoming larger with each passing year, takes place the following night between Marquette and Gooding Streets in the heart of downtown. As one of LaSalle's premiere events, the festival will feature music from live jazz bands, and there will be imported beer and wine for your enjoyment as well. Stick around till the end because you will not want to miss the fireworks display that caps off the night at 9:30pm.

And as always, feel free to watch the fireworks and enjoy the festival's environment from our sidewalk dining café or screened-in dining patio. Might as well stop in for dinner too, right?

Start your weekend off on Friday night with the BBQ-n-Blues festival. Then follow it up Saturday evening with the Jazz Festival, capped off by a wonderful fireworks display. Both events always make for a great weekend!

For more information on the list of bands and vendors that will be participating in this year's festival, please view the event webpage.

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