Most of the people downtown know Dan as Big Dan, as in Big Dan’s BBQ, 635 E. Elk Ave., near the east end of downtown. Dan moved into the building last May and has been serving hickory-smoked barbecue ever since, much to the delight of barbecue lovers in downtown.
But Dan had been serving up great barbecue for many years before he opened in downtown. His restaurant was formerly at the foot of Stoney Creek, so he has many years of experience in running a barbecue restaurant.
Dan said Tuesday that he is glad he made the move to downtown, that the challenges have made him better.
But running a barbecue restaurant is just one side of this multifaceted individual. Dan was an accomplished musician long before he ever thought of serving barbecue.
The eclectic mix of BBQ, Blues and Brews will also challenge Dan. His restaurant is not only one of the select few barbecue restaurants that will be serving barbecue at the gathering, but he will also be playing in the Julie Williams band when it is time to perform.
This year’s bands include Samantha Gray and Billy Crawford, Blue Fox and the Julie Williams Band.
The purveyors of barbecue include: Big Dan’s, downtown Elizabethton’s Southern Restaurant, Elizabethton’s Rivers Edge Country Style Barbecue, Roan Mountain’s Bob’s Dairyland, Johnson City’s Southern Craft Barbecue, Mad B Productions and OE’s Roadside Grill.
The craft beers are being assembled by downtown Elizabethton’s first tap house, Riverside Taphouse. The selections range from lagers to stouts. The brewers are Johnson City Brewing, JRH, Great Oak Brewery, Depot Street Brewery, and Gypsy Circus Cider.
A section of the Covered Bridge Park will be fenced off and entrance will be by wristband. The wristbands are $10 for children 12 and under; $20 for adults; and $30 for an adult wristband and three beer tokens.
The event is a fundraiser for the renovation of the Bonnie Kate Theater, a classic movie theater built in 1926. A contract has just been awarded to install a fire sprinkler system in the theater.
“Come out and sample all the different barbecues and listen to the music and help restore the Bonnie Kate,” Britt said.