Bands, Brews, and BBQ Festival is Back!

The Bands, Brews and BBQ Festival committee are excited to announce that they will be back this summer at the Big Rapids Bandshell on July 10 from 2pm- 10pm, for an amazing day of Bands, Brews and BBQ.

In an effort of looking for new and exciting ways to generate greater awareness of the Big Rapids Region, the Mecosta County Visitors Bureau (MCVB) partnered with the Big Rapids Lions Club in 2019 to bring back the highly anticipated Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival. “This has been a great partnership between the two organizations,” stated Connie Koepke – Executive Director of the Mecosta County Visitors Bureau. “The MCVB’s mission is to market the area’s tourism highlights in hopes of capturing overnight stays at area hotels, as well as return visits to the hotels,” which is where the Visitors Bureau receives its funding from. The Lions Club mission is to raise funds that can be used in support of a large variety of activities that improve their communities and help people in need. Dave Hamelund with the Big Rapids Lions Club states, “Some of the Lions Club projects include assisting the hearing impaired, providing diabetes awareness and education materials, working on environmental projects and developing youth programs.”

With the two organizations working together on this amazing event, they are able to not only accomplish both of the groups’ missions and goals, but also create an extraordinary event that can be enjoyed by all. “You may have noticed a change in the name of this year’s event, altering Blues to Bands.” This allows the ability to offer more variety of musical styles and bands as this annual event continues throughout the years to come,” noted Koepke.

The day of the event is set for Saturday, July 10, from 2:00pm – 10:00pm, which is a great kickoff to fair week that begins on Monday the 12. The festival will not only include amazing music throughout the day but also local restaurants, offering at least one BBQ themed item, a beer tent as well as a vendor area for community businesses and/or crafters to sell their wares. Cost for a vendor table is just $25.00 for the day.

The Mecosta County Visitors Bureau, whom is once again sponsoring the event, noted that there is one other change in this year’s festival. There will not be a charge or ticket cost to attend. The festival will be FREE and open to public. “We are asking that those attending do offer a donation that will go towards the Lions Club and the organizations that they support along with a small portion going to help toward next year’s event expenses,” stated Dave Hamelund of the Big Rapids Lions Club.

Current schedule for the day includes: Kickoff with the Veterans Warrior Motorcycle Club and a Salute to our Veterans, National Anthem (performed by Alison LeVeque) and then a fun-filled day of nonstop Bands, Brews and BBQ.

This year’s musical lineup includes: Key West Permafrost Blues Band, Rochelle & the Spoilers, Brenda Loomis Band and Benzing-Graves Collective. The festival’s MC will be by local musical talent Kelly Quinn. Quinn will also performing during the bands’ transitioning between their sets/acts.

If you are interested in more details and/or to purchase a vendor table at the event, please reach out to the Mecosta County Visitors Bureau at or by calling 231.796.7640.