In recent years, a number restaurants have opened up in town (Smokin’ Okies, Jack Keaton’s, Prairie Smoke & Spice) that are dedicated to the old school idea of barbecuing that goes beyond the type of grilling that most people in this area are familiar with. Instead of just firing up the barbecue and slapping on some meat, traditional barbecuing involves a ton more time and energy, both in preparing the meat of choice and in slow-cooking it to allow the magic to happen.

This weekend, there’s a whole festival happening that’s devoted to celebrating the art of fine BBQ. Everything will be going down on City Square Plaza, and in addition to all the food on offer, there will be a family fun area, a beer garden, a roadhouse and plenty of live music. Admission is free, and the festival runs Friday fromĀ 5-11 p.m., Saturday noon-11 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

You can find out all the details on the Pile O Bones BBQ website. And here’s the schedule of bands:

Friday 12

Alley Dawgs (5 p.m.), Brian Templeton Trio (6 p.m.), Coldest Night of the Year (7 p.m.), the Pistolwhips (8:15 p.m.) and One Bad Son (9:30 p.m.).

Saturday 13

Amy Nelson (noon), the Alley Dawgs (1 p.m.), Scott Richmond (2 p.m.), Mother Night (3 p.m.), Bad Comrade (5 p.m.), Brian Templeton Trio (6 p.m.), Dagan Harding (7 p.m.), Coldest Night of the Year (8:15 p.m.) and the New Meanies (9:30 p.m.).

Sunday 14

Brian Templeton Trio (noon), the Alley Dawgs (1 p.m.), Johnny 2 Fingers (2 p.m.), Dagan Harding (3 p.m.) and Coldest Night of the Year (4 p.m.).