by Marianne Gasaway
The group which established and has hosted one of Clear Lake’s largest summer events has decided to put the brakes on. Permanently.
Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival sponsors, community and event partners were notified by email Sunday that the July weekend event will no longer be held.
“It is with mixed emotions that we write to inform you we’ve made the very difficult decision to retire from the Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival and bring the event to a close. BBBQ started in 2004 as a small, grass-roots event centered on a bike race and a bandshell. Although we did not realize it at the time, our 15th anniversary event in 2019 would be our last,” stated Tim Putnam, BBBQ Festival director, and Matt Curtis, BBBQ Race director in the message.
Putnam declined to elaborate further, but did say compounding concerns coming out of COVID would not allow the group to host the event to the standard it has over the past eight to 10 years.
He added he and others would gladly talk and work with others who may be interested in taking over the event for 2022.
“To our astonishment, BBBQ had grown to one of the most successful events of the Clear Lake summer, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the U.S. No one has been more surprised than us. And oh, what fun we have had! But as someone once said, ‘Life is like riding a bike - to keep your balance, you must keep moving.’ And the time has come for us to do just that. We are grateful beyond measure for your support and friendship over the years. Your kindness and generosity have meant everything to us,” the email message said in closing.