By combining brick streets and brisket, Grilling on Main has blossomed into Minden’s finest downtown festival.
Festival creator and organizer Terry Gardner, also president of the Minden Main Street Board, has expanded Grilling on Main into a two-day festival in 2017, to be held June 9-10 in historic downtown Minden on Main Street.
“We’re capping this year’s event at 50 vendors,” Gardner said. “And by that I mean contestants in Grilling on Main. Last year we pulled vendors from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, and we expect that once again.”
The Main Street Board includes Thomas and Alicia Adams, Larry Gibson, Betsy Mathews, Cathy Copeland and Debra Cooksey, along with Main Street Director Becky White.
Gardner said preparations for this year’s festival are well underway with Grilling on Main one month away. This year’s title sponsor is MBL Bank; joining MBL as co-sponsors are Minden Medical Center, Minden’s Finest Storage and Elm Street Dental; entertainment sponsors are James and Lyda Madden.
The festival expansion includes a cornhole tournament, title sponsored by Gibsland Bank and Trust, firework show sponsored by Horseshoe Dental and Beer Garden sponsored by Krewe des Ambassadeurs at Easley Studio Courtyard; this year’s festival will also feature a children’s area complete with bounce house and face painting. The corn hole tournament is limited to 50 teams and will take place on Friday night.
The cook-off will be judged in three categories: brisket, chicken and ribs and the entry fee is $150. First through fifth place winners in each category will take home cash prizes, with $5,500 to be paid out to the best cooks. Tasting tickets will be for sale on-site for $5, allowing patrons to access every vendor and vote for People’s Choice. Grilling on Main is a Barbeque Competitors Alliance (BCA) sanctioned event. Applications can be picked up at the Minden Civic Center, at 520 Broadway St., by visiting the Main Street page on mindenusa.com or by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gardner is also going to hold a downtown night market on Friday for craft vendors to sell their merchandise. The firework show, sponsored by Horseshoe Dental, will begin at 9 p.m. and should be seen city-wide.
“We’ll have the LED signs and craft vendors set up with lights to light up downtown,” Gardner said. “The night market will go until 10 p.m. and it’s our first downtown market. With the market and fireworks, it’s going to be something to see; this event has taken on a life of its own.”
Anyone interested in being part of the night market should contact Becky White at city hall by calling 377-2144.
Vendors competing in Grilling on Main will check in at Orleans on Main at 4 p.m. and the brick streets downtown will be closed to traffic Friday at 5 a.m.
With such a large amount of food to be eaten, fresh food plates will be for sale Saturday, starting at 2 p.m., and Coca-Cola is providing the festival’s refreshments.
The second installment of Grilling on Main is expected to bring thousands to downtown Minden from around northwest Louisiana and beyond.