About us


Children 12 and under are FREE


The River Grill before the Big Chill is a KCBS culinary competition and two day food and music festival celebrating barbecue, local brews, cooking and, local entertainment.

Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), Cincinnati Parks' River Grill before the Big Chill welcomes professional and backyard contestants to Sawyer Point for a chance to win over $20,000 in cash prizes. Since it is a regional marquee event for the fall of 2015, winning contestants of the River Grill could be eligible for state and national competition placements.

Within the Professional Division, Professional Cook Teams will compete in the following four categories: Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork Butt, and Beef Brisket. KCBS Certified Judges will evaluate the barbecue meat on appearance, texture, and flavor - looking for absolute excellence in Barbecue. For a full list of Rules and Regulations for the Pro-Division, please visit the KCBS Website.

Limited to the first 24 teams, contestants of the Backyard Competition will be rated by judges and have the chance to win over $1,000 by contending in the Chicken, Pork Ribs, and Pork Butt categories.

Proceeds from the River Grill are to benefit the Waterfront Parks. The Waterfront Parks system consists of three major parks: THEODORE M. BERRY INTERNATIONAL PARK, SAWYER POINT & YEATMAN'S COVE and the new SMALE RIVERFRONT PARK! Each park has unique features for the public to explore, and hosts several large events throughout the year. These parks are the new "Front yard of Cincinnati." Read More About the Waterfront Parks