It will be here before we know it. The 'it' is Smokin' in Steele BBQ & Blues Fest. It's the unofficial kick off to summer for music and food enthusiasts with a ton of live music, and mouth-watering BBQ from competitors vying for the chance at a national BBQ championship in Kansas City later in the summer. Here are my top-10 reasons why you should attend this year's Smokin' in Steele at the Steele County Fairgrounds May 31-June 1.

  • 1

    Live Music!

    There is plenty of live music throughout the weekend with blues bands slated to play beginning Friday afternoon.

  • 2

    It Benefits The Special Olympics

    Check Presentation at the Polar Plunge

    Earlier this year the Smokin' in Steele Planning committee presented the Owatonna Special Olympics with a check for $8,500 on behalf of the Owatonna chapter of the Knights of Columbus, who help the run Smokin' in Steele festival.

  • 3

    Car Cruise-In

    Not only is there live music and great BBQ you can sample, more on that next, you can also see a great variety of pretty awesome cars during the 8th annual cruise-in and antique tractor show on Saturday, June 1st

  • 4

    Great BBQ To Try!

    Stop on out Saturday, June 1st and take in the sights and smells. Who knows you might even be able to talk a competitor into letting you try a sample. But there are some food stands serving up some great food.

  • 5

    There is some serious money on the line

    An impressive $11,000 in payouts will take place to pay out the top-10 overall and the top-10 in each category.

  • 6

    Work up an appetite with the 5K Run/Walk

  • 7

    Kids Q Competition

    If you have a young budding chef come out Friday night to have them participate in the Kids Q competition! No registration fee, but you do have to register, get the details here!

  • 8

    A Beer Garden

    Of course, you might have to wash down some BBQ with an ice cold beer. They even sell a weekend pass if you plan on attending both days. (please drink responsibly)

  • 9

    Steak Competition Friday Night

  • 10

    Plan Your Steele County Free Fair Trip

    Pre-plan out your trip for August when you to come to the Steele County Free Fair!