BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The 2023 Almost Heaven BBQ Bash in Buckhannon will include a new art car event, which is the first of its kind in West Virginia.

An art car is any type of vehicle that has been modified or redesigned to change its appearance through artistic expression.

Students in the Fred W. Eberle Tech Center will design and create an art car for the BBQ Bash. Additionally, organizers hope to get Upshur County students involved, with elementary students creating artistic cardboard box cars, and middle school students creating artistic bicycles.

“We’re hoping the elementary kids would look at the cardboard boxes because that’s something they can create individually in the classrooms; Houston actually has an art bike parade, so they can create them, and it’s amazing what you can create from a bicycle,” said Jody Light, President of the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Board of Directors, “If someone has a four-wheeler, a side-by-side, riding lawnmower, golf cart, bus, truck, tractor, any of those things can be transformed into a mobile work of art and that’s what we are excited to see.”

The Fred W. Eberle Tech Center still needs a main vehicle that will become a mascot car for the BBQ Bash and local schools are also in need of old bicycles.

“If you have an old car or maybe you’re a business out there and you have one you’d like to donate to Fred Eberle, that would be wonderful,” said Light, “The schools are going to need bicycles, don’t need new one’s, but we hope if you have a bicycle stored in your garage and somewhere and you want to get rid of it, it would be a great time to donate it to one of the schools.”

The Almost Heaven BBQ Bash is in its eighth year, during the BBQ Bash professional BBQ competitors from across the country compete in a Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned event.

The very first Almost Heaven BBQ Bash was held in Buckhannon in 2015 and will finally return back to Buckhannon after being located at the Stonewall Resort for the past few years.

The BBQ Bash in Buckhannon plans to hold a Friday night parade on June 16, 2023, on Main Street that will feature art cars from across America, while showing off students’ art projects.