The Lexington Barbecue Festival has been canceled for the second year in a row, due to labor and supply shortages and pandemic concerns. The following statement was released by the festival:
After months of consultation with local officials, sponsors, and official festival restaurants, the 2021 Barbecue Festival set for October 23, will not happen as planned.
It was a difficult decision, but one we ultimately concluded was the responsible and necessary decision to make.
Currently the BBQ restaurants are facing significant labor and supply chain challenges. The restaurant owners unanimously decided that they could not meet the enormous challenge of preparing and serving thousands of pounds of BBQ for the festival this year, and we respect that decision. They remarked, “With our deepest regret, due to supply chain challenges, the current labor shortage, and concerns with the ongoing pandemic, we will not be able to participate in The Barbecue Festival this year. We look forward to celebrating our World Famous BBQ Heritage again in 2022. -Smokey Joe’s, Barbecue Center, Speedy’s and Stamey’s Barbecue.”
Compounding the problem, is the current exponential surge of COVID-19 cases within our community. Based on current trends, we feel it would not be in the best interest of our community to invite more than 100,000 people from across the country to converge on our city, when the Delta variant is so prevalent.
We were very much looking forward to the 2021 festival, but now we'll turn our focus and energy to the 2022 festival!
We know that the decision to not have the festival this year will be disappointing for many people, but we truly believe the decision is best for all involved.
Thank you to our sponsors, vendors, official restaurants, volunteers, and the hundreds of people who make the festival possible each year. We truly appreciate your understanding and continued steadfast support!
Please save the date & be ready to celebrate...the 38th Barbecue Festival is set for Saturday, October 22, 2022!