Tonawanda News

June 15, 2014

Cross Border festival draws a crowd to Wilson

By Kaley Lynch
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — WILSON — Perfect weather greeted the first day of the fourth annual Cross Border Blues, Brews and Ques festival Saturday.

Hundreds of cars parked along Lake Street, many bearing plates from out of state or Ontario.

“We’ve had so many people come today, it’s been very busy,” event organizer Kathy O’Keefe said. “It’s been a great turnout so far.”

People of all ages flocked to the event, held in front of Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co.

Beer tasters packed “Libation Station,” where over 30 beers were on tap for sampling. A large banner showed descriptions of each beer’s flavor, but the knowledgable group of volunteers from Woodcock Brothers brewery were just as helpful at aiding tasters trying to pick the best brew.

Mercury Blues Band, Wanted by the FBI, Lynne Fredericks and Tommy Z provided entertainment for the afternoon.

The blues aspect of the festival attracted Kevin Jonak of Puerto Rico, who came into Buffalo last week for a consulting job in Medina.

“When I arrived at the Buffalo airport, I heard about a blues festival in Wilson on the radio, and I said, ‘I’ve got to find Wilson!’, Jonak said. “I’ve found that any time you go into a new town, if you can find somewhere with blues music, you’ll find the coolest people.”

Forty-four teams entered a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition held across the street from Woodcock Brothers at the Wilson Historical Society.

Bruce and Lisa Will of BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue, a Blasdell restaurant, packed away their equipment around 2 p.m., after their entry was taken for judging.

“Ribs are our specialty,” Lisa Will said.

The competition is a great way to be around other barbecue teams, Bruce Will said.

“It’s fun, it’s a great environment to be in,” he said.

The CrossBorder festival continues from noon until 8 p.m. today.

Check it out What: Cross Border Blues, Brews and Ques festival Where: Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co., 638 Lake St., Wilson Today's highlights: The Fireman's Rib Throw Down and Junior Que competitions; a Junior Blues Showcase with Tas Cru and music by Hayden Fogle's Treble Rousers and Monkey Junk. In the education tent: Blues instruction by keyboardist Dan Sturner, 12:30 and 2 p.m.; tips on great BBQ "sides" by Chef Binks, 3:30 p.m.; and Brewing 101 by master brewer Tim Woodcock, 5:30 p.m.

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222, ext. 6245, or tweet to @Lynchie17