BBQ worth the wait and sauce stains at Lacey festival
Karen Camacho of Lacey was doing her best to balance a pulled pork sandwich and a serving of pasta on a paper plate.
It was her first time attending the second annual South Sound Barbecue Festival at Cabela’s in Lacey Saturday. Most of the tables were full and it was barely lunch time.
Camacho and her friends decided to eat their barbecue while standing in the shade.
“The food is really good,” Camacho said. “The lines were long, but they seem to be moving along.”
Intended to be a one-time fundraiser last summer, the event’s popularity gave the Lacey Chamber of Commerce no choice but to bring it back.
The plan now is to hold the festival yearly on the Saturday after the Fourth of July, according to chamber executive director Tony Salas.
The event attracted about 4,000 people last year. By 1 p.m. Saturday, organizers estimated that attendance was already double that.
Traffic was backed up to Marvin Road Northeast with a steady stream of cars directed to park in gravel lots near Cabela’s main property west of Marvin off Interstate 5.
Others parked in the median or alongside the road and walked to the festival.
Salas said they expected a 25 percent increase in participants over last year. “We are going to greatly exceed that this year,” he said. “As long as people can get in or near, we are going to be good.”
Organizers added vendor booths and entertainment for this year’s festival.
Kim King of Yelm and her husband arrived 30 minutes before the event started at 11 a.m. hoping to avoid traffic. Major Seahawks fans, the couple wanted to see Blitz, the Sea Gals and Blue Thunder perform.
“And we love barbecue, too,” Kim said. “We are browsing to see what’s out there.”
There were 11 professional BBQ vendors as well as 16 “Back Yard Joes” showing off their skills.
Participants paid for food and children’s activities with scrips purchased at the entrance of the event.
Temperatures reached into the low 80s Saturday.
“The weather is nice and it’s good to get the community together,” said Cheryl Butay of Lacey. “It’s kind of nice to have something for the kids to do outdoors, too.”