CRESTVIEW — The city’s premier downtown festival returns to its roots when the Triple B Barbecue Cook Off returns to Main Street next month. This year, the festival also refocuses its emphasis on local and regional barbecue pit masters.

“That means people will be able to buy some of that wonderful barbecue they smell as they walk up and down the street,” City Council President JB Whitten said.

Whitten, who becomes mayor on April 1, said the Triple B is the city’s signature event. When the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, which produced it previous years, decided to cancel this year’s festival, he approached the Main Street Crestview Association about assuming responsibility for holding the festival.

“Main Street Crestview Association is thrilled to host the 15th Annual Triple B Festival in our historic downtown Crestview,” Main Street Executive Director Sandra Wilson said. “Bringing the event back to the heart of the city will provide for a great atmosphere and a fun filled day for the whole family with live music, delicious foods and tons of vendors.”

The Crestview Community Redevelopment Agency put up $10,000 seed money to fund the festival, but expects to make most, if not all of it, back during the festival, attendance at which has topped 10,000 visitors in previous years.

Though the Triple B — which stands for Blackwater, Bluegrass and Barbecue — began as a 1990s barbecue competition during the now-defunct Family Fun Day in Spanish Trail Park, it wasn’t until it moved to Main Street in the early 2000s that it really took off.

Whitten said bringing the event back to the heart of Crestview emphasizes the festival’s position as the Hub City’s signature festival, and focusing on local pit masters acknowledges its down-home, “backyard barbecue” roots.

He also stressed that Main Street Crestview’s organization of this year’s event is not an attempt to wrest it from the chamber. For many years both organizations, cooperating with the city, helped make the Triple B a success.

“The chamber is all on board with Main Street holding it this year,” Whitten said. “If the chamber wants to hold it again in future, they can certainly do so. No organization has a monopoly on the Triple B. It’s a Crestview event. The important thing is to keep it going.”