The smell of barbeque will soon the fill the air in Perry Square.

Preparations are underway on South Park Row for the 32nd annual Rib Fest which kicks off Thursday. The four-day festival features several barbeque vendors, local craft beer, and live music.

Because of the festival, State Street will be closed from 7th Street to North Park Row.

One organizer said not only is Rib Fest a fun event, but it also brings visitors downtown to explore and support local businesses.

“We’re looking at about 50,000 people to come down and enjoy this. Eight national touring barbecue rib cooking teams. I say eight but actually we have three local teams. We’re so excited that they’re coming to represent Erie, Pennsylvania, and the others are coming from all over the country with their barbecue and brisket and all kinds of delightful foods,” said Kathi Danielson of performance & event management

The event kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. in Perry Square.