OCONTO—The summer festival season is underway so bring your family, your lawn chairs, and your appetite to the annual Blowin’ the Doors Off BBQ in Oconto this Saturday (June 1)! From 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. individuals and families are invited to enjoy some good food, relax, and have fun.
“That’s the first thing we’re going to have is really good food and we’re going to have some pretty good entertainment too, you know,” Clifford Badgley said.
Event organizers said approximately 4,000 pounds of BBQ will be prepared as part of the annual competition and fundraiser to benefit the Oconto Volunteer Fire Department.
The annual event began as a fundraiser for the fire department in the early 2000s after a tornado swept through the town. Today, Brett Eggleston hopes for an average of 2,000 people to attend and enjoy a beer garden, music by South Loup Sunrise and Borderline, raffles, and of course delicious BBQ such as brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, and much more.
Dan Eggleston said he appreciates the “Custer County hospitality” that it takes to host such a large event in a small town. Oconto is part of the 2019 Nebraska Passport Program and Eggleston said he loves seeing new people visit.
“The welcome mat is always out in Oconto. We love to have people stop in,” Dan Eggleston said. “It’s really neat for Custer County, for rural America in general, and really good for Oconto because it brings people in to see stuff.”
The annual Blowin’ the Doors Off BBQ draws people from all over Nebraska and event organizers encourage everyone of all ages to check it out. Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the gate; $5 for ages 5-12.
“Bring your family, have a good meal, have a good sit down, and see some old friends sometimes,” Badgley said.