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New 'Q in the Lou' festival will bring barbecue to city next fall

Wayne Pratt

After losing events like Taste of St. Louis, RibFest and Bluesweek to the suburbs, St. Louis will play host to the inaugural “Q in the Lou” barbeque festival this fall.

“‘Q in the Lou’ will be our autumn block party, and it marks St. Louis as the third point of what St. Louis barbeque legend Mike Emerson has dubbed the ‘Barbeque Triangle’ along with Memphis and Kansas City,” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said at a press conference in City Hall on Friday.

The festival will include local barbeque joints like Pappy’s Smokehouse and out of town places such as The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Austin, Texas, and Memphis BBQ Co. in Memphis, Tenn.

“This is what barbeque is. It is the front porch of America and I’m so glad that in St. Louis in September, we’re gonna get to sit on this front porch and all of us become real good friends and enjoy each other’s company and have some good barbeque,” Ubon’s Barbeque’s Garry Roark said.

St. Louis Convention and Visitor’s Commission President Kathleen “Kitty” Ratcliffe says Q in the Lou will be a great addition to the already long list of events St. Louis hosts such as PrideFest and Fair St. Louis.

“This is an exciting new event to add to that repertoire and we are excited about the opportunity that it provides to us to draw new visitors to St. Louis and provide recurring visitors with another reason to come back,” Ratcliffe said.

In addition to barbeque, the event will also feature live local music and other activities such as barbeque tool demonstrations.

Credit Wayne Pratt
Mike Emerson of Pappy's Smokehouse during the "Q in the Lou" press conference. Emerson helped plan and organize the festival.

The festival will take place at Soldiers’ Memorial from September 25-27 and a portion of the profits gained will go toward restoring Soldiers’ Memorial.