Columbia??s Roots N Blues N Barbecue Festival began tonight in a new location.
The event moved from the downtown area to Stephens Lake Park at the corner of Broadway and Old Highway 63.
Organizers predict this year??s festival will be the biggest and best ever with their new location. Besides the new location, this year??s festival changes include the 4th largest traveling stage in the nation and a Ferris wheel. One thing that hasn??t changed is the music and the barbecue. The festival offers dozens of barbecue styles from local cooks.
Barbecue vendor Winston Osbourne said, ??It??s going to be a beautiful weekend. You need to come on out and have some fun and enjoy the music. We have good food so come on out.??
Columbia police officers have closed some nearby streets to help keep traffic and parking under control. Festival organizers encourage everyone to use the festival??s shuttles that run every 7 minutes. For $5, you can use shuttles from all 5 parking garages in Downtown Columbia throughout the entire festival.
Festival Organizer Richard King said, ??Get on those shuttles. There??s plenty of space down here. You can bring a blanket. You can bring a chair. There are a ton of vendors out here. Of course, we have plenty of cold beverages for everybody. I think the music schedule is one of the best that we put together.??
Tonight??s music line up includes Samantha Fish and John Hiatt.
Saturday night??s line up includes The Black Crowes, Blues Traveler and Johnny Winter.
The 3-day festival ends on Sunday night.