Two iconic bands will be the primary entertainment at the Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Festival this weekend. The band Fuel is slated to take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 28). Smash Mouth will take the stage Saturday (Sept. 29) at 8 p.m.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society will host the Arkansas state champion barbecue contest on Saturday and a steak cook-off will be held on Friday night.
Organizers estimate up to 50,000 visitors may attend the event this weekend, Downtown Jonesboro Association Executive Director Lindsey Wingo told Talk Business & Politics. This year, it will be a two-day event, and organizers think the foot traffic in that section of the city will be significantly higher. Several streets will be shut down, including parts of Main, Union and others will be shut down to accommodate the live entertainment and visitors.
“It’s going to be different … we’ve never done a two night event before,” she said. “It’s one of our marquee events downtown. It’s very important for downtown commerce.”
Fuel began as a band in 1989 in Tennessee and later moved to Pennsylvania in 1993, according to the band’s Web site. The band played in local bars and clubs through the mid-1990s until one of the band’s all-time hits, Hemorrhage (In My Hands) was released in 2000. In 2003 the band released the album Natural Selection which was headlined by the song Falls on Me. Lead vocalist Brett Scallions was with the group from 1993 -2006 and then returned in 2010.
Smash Mouth formed as a group in California in 1994. The band recorded in California and played at venues throughout the state, according to the band’s web site. The group’s first major hit, Walking’ On The Sun was released in 1997 in its Fush Yu Mang album that went double platinum. In 1999, the group released a quadruple platinum winning album, Astrolounge. The album included several top ten hits including the song, All-Star.
Other events at the festival will include several other bands performing throughout the two days. A dessert contest will be held Friday night, along with the steak contest. A fire truck pull will be held at 2 p.m. to benefit the Arkansas Special Olympics.
“The festival will be a lot of fun for everyone,” Wingo said.