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Did someone say block party?

It’s time to put on your party pants, because the Great Eldorado BBQ, Blues and Brews Festival is back. For the past 22 years, the two-day festival has drawn crowds to downtown Reno with an event that’s equal parts barbecue block party, microbrew tasting event and nonstop rock and blues music festival.

“Brews and Blues is the unofficial kick-off to the summer event season here in downtown Reno,” said Rick Murdock, vice president of sales and marketing for Eldorado Resorts. “There’s no doubt that the next few months are filled with exciting events that we look forward to every single year, so why not enjoy a ‘hoppin’’ toast and incredible barbecue to commemorate the start?”

The event, which features more than 65 microbreweries, food and free live rock and blues entertainment, runs from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 16 in front of the Eldorado Resort Casino and Virginia Street between Third and Fifth streets, and continues from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 17.

Organizers say the festival will feature more breweries than ever, as well as feature some pretty cool bands, including Tonic (“If You Could Only See”) and Five for Fighting (“Superman”) — for free (so be sure to grab some dancing shoes to match your party pants).

“This year’s BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival will not only bring great headlining entertainment from Tonic and Five For Fighting, but also the most breweries we’ve ever had at our festival with over 65 in attendance,” Murdock said. “The tunes will be loud; the taps will be flowing.”

Suds and eats

Featured suds on tap hail from around the world, including Hop Valley Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, Lost Coast Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Alaskan Brewing Co., Kona Brewing Co. and Samuel Adams Brewery. Local breweries on tap will include the Eldorado’s Brew Brothers, Lead Dog Brewing, Stoneyhead Brewery, Brewers Cabinet, High Sierra Brewing Co. and Under the Rose Brewery. Insider’s secret: There will be a special brew made exclusively for the annual event by The Brew Brothers’ own brewmaster Greg Hinge.

And then there’s the food, so make sure your party pants are roomy. Festival favorites will be available throughout the event, including St. Louis-style barbecue ribs, Texas salt and pepper smoked beef brisket, whole hog pulled pork and Geno’s smokehouse steak sandwich with house-smoked eye of sirloin and housemade barbecue sauce. Other favorites will include loaded waffle fries topped with barbecue beef, fried calamari with sriracha sauce, burnt ends skewers, an all-American cheeseburger and fries and fire-roasted corn.

New this year, festival-goers will get to enjoy barbecue bacon-wrapped hot dogs with jalapeno-corn relish and crispy fried onions. Or how about chicken apple sausage on a bun with apple and celery root slaw and whole grain mustard? Also new this year, smoky charbroiled chicken wings with bourbon barbecue sauce, as well as chicken, carne asada and carnitas street tacos from El Jefe’s Cantina.

Entertainment schedule

Schedule is subject to change.

Friday, June 16

4th Street Stage

3:30 p.m.: Jason King Band

5:30 p.m.: Maxx Cabello Jr.

7:30 p.m.: Tonic

3rd Street Stage

4 p.m.: U.S. Air Force Mobility

6 p.m.: Shane Dwight

Saturday, June 17

4th Street Stage

12:30 p.m.: 9 Below Zero

2:30 p.m.: U.S. Air Force Mobility

4:30 p.m.: Shane Dwight

6:30 p.m.: Five for Fighting

3rd Street Stage

Noon: Blue Haven Blues Band

2 p.m.: Prey for Son

4 p.m.: Jason King Band

6 p.m.: Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

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