You heard it here first: Bernie Sanders is the first confirmed presidential candidate for the Johnson County Democrats fall barbecue in Iowa City on October 18.
Sanders' presence could prompt other candidates to commit to the event, the county party's biggest fundraiser of the year.
In 2007, five candidates and multiple members of the Biden family attended, along with then-reigning Oscar best actor Forest Whittaker as an Obama surrogate. Hillary Clinton brought along George McGovern, who endorsed her at the barbecue. The 2007 event drew at least 2500 attendees.
In 2003, John Kerry brought Ted Kennedy to the Johnson County barbecue, and Howard Dean also attended.
Sanders was also one of the keynote speakers at the Johnson County Barbecue last year (seen above), in one of his first steps toward exploring a campaign.
Word went out to local Sanders backers late Friday afternoon that Sanders was hosting a house party in Iowa City on the same date as the barbecue, and the Sanders campaign has confirmed that Sanders will also attend the barbecue.
All the campaigns have had the October 18 date for months, and reports are that arms are being twisted up the food chain.