LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – When the coronavirus pandemic overtook the nation last year, many events were either canceled, delayed or displaced. Lake Placid’s I Love BBQ and Music Festival was one of those. The yearly fund-raiser for the Shipman Youth Center, organized by USA Luge, was removed from its traditional location on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval to the North Elba Show Grounds on the edge of town. The date changed from July 4 to Labor Day, and instead of featuring the best barbecue fare in the East, it went with a drive-in motion picture theme to keep families safe.
Now, with vaccinations overtaking COVID-19 and the country gradually returning to normal, it’s time to get back to the usual event that has run strongly for 14 years. Or is it the usual event? As a result of massive upgrades to the speed skating oval this summer, and Lake Placid Horse Shows occupying the show grounds through July 4, the barbecue and live music crowd will once again wait until Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5. But it’ll be worth the delay as event manager Dmitry Feld (Marketing Manager at USA Luge) continues to push his brainchild into new frontiers.
For the first time, I Love BBQ and Music Festival patrons will be able to purchase beer. Local brew masters will offer craft beer tasting on Sunday, Sept. 5 from 12 – 3 PM.
With a frosty, cold one in their hand, these spectators can then sidle up to ringside as Feld has reached agreement with PAC Wrestling (Performance Arts Connection) for a show on Saturday, Sept. 4, from 5 – 7 PM. The organization, based in Moriah, N.Y., started in 2002. It is a non-profit that has done countless benefits since 2010, so the partnership with the Shipman Youth Center is a natural fit, pile drivers, head locks and all.
“Wrestling fans can expect to see a kid-friendly, family-oriented show from the likes of The Young Guns, Scrap Iron, Crusher Bigelow, Barracuda, Jacked Vegas, Supernova and others,” said Justin Gaddor, of PAC Wrestling.
Gordy Sheer, USA Luge Marketing and Sponsorship Director, is the music coordinator and is recruiting the top regional talent to help the Shipman cause. Music will be on the menu all three days.
Other past fan favorites are also set to return, including Top Chef competition, Best Ribs in the East/Buck-a-Rib, pulled pork tasting, a kid’s barbecue, a variety of contests that will include the Kansas City BBQ Society and the Krusher BMX Bike Shows that have been popular for many years. Also, Feld promises new children’s rides for 2021, and an antique car show on Sept. 4.
A complete list of activities and schedules for the weekend can be found at the home page of www.ilbbqf.com.