Annual Summer Festival, BBQ Competition to return to Dowagiac in July

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce announced today that the Dowagiac Summer Festival and BBQ Competition is accepting registrations for the BBQ Competition as well as commercial vendors. 

Events will take place July 19 and 20 in downtown Dowagiac. The annual two-day street festival will host food trucks, commercial vendors, in-store promotions, live music, children’s amusement rides and activities featuring a pop up splash park on Commercial Street.

The second annual BBQ competition will take place Saturday, July 20 and is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. 

“The competition is open to anyone with a competitive spirit who wants to show off their backyard BBQ skills,” said Matt Money of the Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce 

Details regarding the competition and the registration can be found at, under events. 

In conjunction with Dowagiac’s Summer Festival, Southwestern Michigan College will host the 50th Annual Steve’s Run, Friday June 19. In the last 16 years Steve’s Run has raised over $180,000 for cancer research and student scholarships.  

“Join us in celebration of Steve’s Run! This is the 50th anniversary of the road and trail race. We are looking forward to recognizing the race’s namesake and his family by raising funds for student scholarships and cancer research again this year,” commented Emily Schrock, Alumni Relations and Development Coordinator at SMC. 

Named the Original Road and Trail Race, the run will once again start and finish in Downtown Dowagiac, and take participants over paved roads, a golf course, a cemetery, and the Southwestern Michigan College wooded trails. The race starts at 6 p.m. and registration can be found at under events.

Following the race, Oak + Ash BBQ will host an after party featuring “Black River Band” from South Haven, Michigan, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Registrations for the BBQ Competition and vendor booths are available on the Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce website, under the Events tab. Volunteer opportunities are listed as well.  The Chamber’s Facebook page will share all the activities surrounding the events. 

This is a sponsor driven event and the Chamber of Commerce is grateful for the support of Lyons Industries, ReLeaf Center of Dowagiac, Southwestern Michigan College, Sturgis Bank – Niles Branch, D.MottL Realty, Xfinity, Padnos Dowagiac, Midwest Energy & Communications, and Meridian Title.