Steel City Smokeout Now Offering Free Admission!

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Get mouthwatering BBQ, watch the competition heat up and learn from the best!

PLUS, listen to some great music at the annual Blast Furnace Blues.

Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley, PA, June 20, 2024 – In April, ArtsQuest announced the Steel City Smokeout in partnership with Nick’s BBQ presented by Cigars International, Jack Daniels and The Restaurant Store. This brand-new barbeque competition – sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association – will take place on Saturday, July 20, 2024, on PNC Plaza presented by St. Luke’s University Health Network on the ArtsQuest campus at SteelStacks. Pitmasters Moe Cason and Bob Trudnak are so excited about all the barbeque happening here on campus for the first time, they’re waiving general admission into the event! Everyone is welcome to come and check out the (literal) competition for the best barbeque and all the vendors cooking up mouthwatering meats. Check out for all the info on this event you won’t want to miss!

Interested in a complementary “BBQ Brunch” prepared by Nick’s BBQ, an extra hour at the event and an exclusive area with a private cash bar? VIP tickets are $69 (or $79 week of the event) and include all of this PLUS an exclusive seminar with Cigars International. Rich Monts and Mike Piparato will be covering the history of Cigars International and Smokeable Tobaccos, from the discovery of tobacco to the Cuban Revolution to modern cigars. Everyone who attends this session will be automatically entered into a drawing for a Cigars International Smiley’s Specials, a special branded humidor that comes with a Smiley cutter and lighter.

Professional and amateur teams from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region will be competing at the 18+ event in a number of categories to win cash prizes from a purse of $10,000. You can see how these teams prepare delicious meats while getting some of your own from the many barbeque vendors that will be on hand.

Once inside you can purchase barbeque from:

Other food vendors:

There’s still time to register for the Master and Backyard Series Competitions! Registration deadline is July 7. To register to be a professional BBQ team click here. We are also looking for two more teams for our Backyard competition; click here to register.

Additionally, award-winning pitmasters Bob Trudnak and Moe Cason are teaching classes in ArtsQuest Center’s Blast Furnace Room as part of the Steel City Smokeout! Trudnak and Cason will give you the very best methods and procedures for cooking high end backyard BBQ with competition tips and tricks. They cover everything from meat selection and trimming to seasoning and cooking procedures on grills and smokers. Visit for more information on classes.

When you’re finished eating BBQ, be sure to check out the 11th Annual Blast Furnace Blues, featuring two days of live rhythm and blues music happening on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at SteelStacks.

About ArtsQuest

ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events.

Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, over 50% of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region.

Information provided to TVL by:
Bryn Keeney