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Vendors set up to fulfill Columbian's cravings [Photo]

Wesley Moyston keeps an eye on the meats at the Jamaican Jerk Hut station Saturday, on Cherry Street. The Jamaican Jerk Hut was one of about a dozen food vendors at the festival this year.

Festival draws a wide variety of musical acts [Photo]

Texas country singer James Hand performs Saturday, on the stage at Seventh and Locust Streets during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Hand, who has appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, also played at the Whole Hog Lounge for the VIP guests.

Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ attendees brave rain [Photo]

Greg Kreek watches Junior Brown play his set at the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Kreek and his four friends took cover under a giant yellow umbrella, but his glasses still got rain drops all over them.

Roots 'N Blues audience stays despite rain [Photo]

In this Missourian file photo, Junior Brown, a singer at the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival, plays a lick at the Mediacom Stage at Peace Park for a wet audience on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ vendor protects his food from the rain [Photo]

Scott Baxley cooks up weiners at the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Baxley covered the hot dogs with an umbrella to save them from the rain before serving them to customers.

Blues Festival has Columbians returning for more [Photo]

Columbia resident Shelly Ramsey surveys the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Fifth Street on Saturday. Ramsey has been coming to the festival for three years now, and says she "always has a great time."

Balloon artist makes hat at Roots 'N Blues [Photo]

Balloon artist Mike Martin and Columbia resident Beverly Bell help place a balloon hat on 8-year-old Nikki Williams' head on Saturday, outside of Flat Branch Park during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Bell said the wait for balloon creations was an hour long.

Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ contestant prepares food [Photo]

Up in Smoke barbecue team member William Bryan slices sausage at the team's station before the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival judging on Saturday. The team, which is from Marshall, has been barbecuing together for about 15 years.

VIDEO: Barbecue Judging [Video]

Trevor Nichols, 21, talks about the MU BBQ Team and the barbecue competition at the Roots ‘N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. The team, which finished 11th overall last year, is competing in four events: beef brisket, chicken, pork and ribs.

Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ - Judging [Photo]

Certified judges for the Roots 'N Blues barbecue contest Susie Bishop and Wayne Reynolds take a rib and pass it down during the second round of judging on Saturday. Judges evaluated samples from the 54 competing barbecue teams based on taste, tenderness and appearance. "To win the overall grand champion prize of $2,500, a team must enter the first four categories of chicken, ribs, pork and beef brisket," said Roots 'N Blues Barbecue Coordinator Jori Rose. Teams could also choose to enter the fifth dessert category.

Columbia runner places third in Roots 'n Blues 10K [Photo]

Tony Rigdon of Columbia placed third in the Roots 'n Blues 10K. Both the 10K and a half marathon took place Saturday morning as a part of the Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival.

Families show support for Roots 'n Blues runners [Photo]

Aubrey Sanders, 8, Katya Johnson, 5, Ainsley Sanders, 5, Chris Sanders and Lanny Johnson, 10, eagerly wait for Kristyn Sanders and Jackie Johnson to finish the Roots 'N Blues Half Marathon and 10K Saturday morning. The rain couldn't keep families from supporting the runners.

Lumberjack [Photo]

Marissa Jo Daniel, a senior at Missouri, will represent the university at the Regional Collegiate competition in Carbondale, Ill, this weekend

Roots 'N Blues holds half marathon [Photo]

Runners break from the starting line of the Roots 'N Blues Half Marathon, which took place at 7 a.m. Saturday despite rainy conditions. A 10K race was also held.

MU Football - Gerau [Photo]

Missouri's Brandon Gerau tries to get through the Nevada defense on Friday night in Reno, Nevada. The Tigers beat the Wolfpack 31-21.

The Bel Airs - Pruitt Brothers [Photo]

Dave Pruitt (left) and Dick Pruitt (right) of The Bel Airs sing during a performance on the community stage at Flat Branch Park during the first nght of the Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival.

The Bel Airs - Drummer Cherry [Photo]

Drummer Michael Cherry of The Bel Airs performs on the community stage at Flat Branch Park during the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival.

The Bel Airs - Pruitt [Photo]

Dave Pruitt of The Bel Airs performs on the community stage at Flat Branch Park during the Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival on Friday night.

Roots 'N Blues - BelAirs [Photo]

Dave Pruitt of The Bel Airs performs on the community stage at Flat Branch Park during the Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival on Friday night.

Missouri High Steppers [Slideshow]

The third annual Roots 'N 'Blues 'N BBQ Festival opened on Friday with a parade and performance by the Mid-Missouri Highsteppers.

The Highsteppers, whose members range in age from 8 to their teens, are a drill squad led by drillmaster Tyrone Raybon.

"What we're trying to do is build self-esteem, pride, commitment, all those things," said assistant drillmaster Kirby Marks. "And we make sure we put in the structure of discipline and dedication, and then we try to implement that into the classroom as well. So these kids here, they're what we would call the select number that made it through the cut."
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