BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) — A popular summertime outdoor festival will return to the Upshur County city that created it back in 2015.

Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner held a press conference Monday morning announcing the return of The Almost Heaven BBQ Bash next year.

Skinner said he spent the last year meeting with BBQ bash board members along with city council and county commissioners trying to figure out a way to bring the event home.

The nationally sanctioned barbeque competition has been recently held in Lewis County.

Skinner said the 8th annual Almost Heaven BBQ Bash will be held at the city’s completely renovated Jawbone Park.

“We have added power, we have added lighting, we have added grey water and water hookups,” Skinner said. “We have expanded the park. It’s double and a half its size as it was in 2015. This is a great day for Buckhannon. It’s going to be a great year for Buckhannon next year and these are the kinds of things that just make me really proud to be mayor of such a great town. When everybody comes together and we’re working together to make our community a better place.”

Stonewall Resort hosted the previous BBQ Bash and has the facilities to continue, but the area where all the vendors and grill masters set up will undergo a change in 2023 making it difficult to host such a large event.

Skinner said the BBQ Bash board started from a rotary club in Buckhannon but has since grown into its own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

He said it’s the goal of the city council and the county commission to keep the bash in Buckhannon where it all began seven years ago.

There is a Facebook page that will provide event announcements and updates. According to the Facebook page, the BBQ Bash is scheduled for June 16 and June 17 of 2023.