BBQ, Balloons, and Much More this Weekend at the South County Hot Air Balloon Festival

Festival season in South County is in full swing.  With the Wickford Arts Festival just wrapping up, a lot of South County eyes are turned now to the 37th Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival. Below is a press release from Bud Faria, the event organizer for the 4th Annual Rhode Island BBQ Championships.  Also, please read below to learn more about one of the hot air balloon vendors, CT Ballooning and owner, Jim Regan.



The 4th Annual Rhode Island BBQ Championships on Sunday, July 19, 2015 will provide a tasty finale to the 37th Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wakefield.  The competition, which is part of the signature fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Wakefield, is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.  It has been proclaimed by the Honorable Governor of the State of Rhode Island, as the official state BBQ championship, and will be held at the URI athletic fields in Kingston, R.I.  It has attracted upwards of 50 competitive teams including some from Canada, the United Kingdom and throughout the U. S. for each of the last three years as well as that many KCBS certified judges.  The event is an “auto-qualifier” for “The Jack”, a national championship held at Jack Daniels Hollow in Lynchburg, Tenn., in October.  Forty-one hundred dollars in cash prizes as well as trophies will be awarded to the top ten places in each of the four KCBS categories: chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket, at the awards ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m.

This year will feature three BBQ vendors, one each from Florida, Vermont and Rhode Island to serve BBQ for patrons to enjoy in the large food tent during all three days of the event.

The venue provides for a very family oriented event with hot air balloon rides in the early morning and evening, weather permitting, as well as the concerts, fireworks, carnival rides, food vendors, classic cars and crafters.  The event is much-anticipated every summer in southern Rhode Island drawing as many as 15,000 patrons over three days.

Registration forms for the BBQ competition teams and judges are available at  or by contacting Rotarian and event organizer Bud Faria at or by calling 401-789-3902.

CT Ballooning

CT Ballooning, LLC offers scenic hot air balloon flights over the Farmington River Valley and throughout central Connecticut.  Enjoy a spectacular aerial vantage point of the state from our basket while gently floating overthe varying terrain, from woodlands to suburban life.  Flights are scheduled at sunrise, year-round, weather permitting and are celebrated with a post-flight champagne or sparkling cider toast.  With almost 30 years of ballooning experience, CT Ballooning LLC should be your only choice for hot air balloon flights.  Jim Regan, owner and chief pilot commented to the NK Blog “this will be my 11th time attending the South County Balloon Festival and my special shape balloon “Claw’D the Crazy Crab” will be the featured balloon for Saturday afternoons flight.”


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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.

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