The 12th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival
The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will host the 12th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport March 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and March 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival has come a long way in the 12 years since its inception. This year’s contest has been named the 2022 Florida State BBQ Championship. With this honor, the event expanded to included Friday night events. Kidz Grillin’ Competition is added to Friday’s festivities from 5- 9 p.m. Through community donations and sponsorships from Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC and Chick fil A Zephyrhills the first 25 youth registered are able to compete for free while being mentored by local Pit Masters.
As usual, the festival will feature a Florida BBQ Association-approved barbecue competition. About 55 competition teams, both professional and backyard, are expected this year and will be competing for top honors and trophies in four standard categories: Chicken, Pork, Brisket, and Ribs. Professional teams have the added incentive of potentially winning $10,000 in prize money. Parking is free at the venue and admission is $5 per adult and children under 42” will be free.
Over the years, the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival has distinguished itself to be a qualifier for three prestigious championship contests: The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, TN, considered the Superbowl of BBQ contests; the American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City, the world’s largest and oldest contest; and the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational. This year, the FBA State Championships will be held at this event so the team competition will be fierce.
The AdventHealth Stage will be alive on Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring a crowd favorite; Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band with TC Carr, Rob Stoney, Josh Nelms and our very own Chuck Riley starting at 7:30p.m. The Sandspurs will open the evening at 6 p.m. Saturday’s impressive line-up of blues music features headliner Memphis Lightning, as well as the Kid Royal Band, Jimmy Griswold, and Ed Wright. Bring your lawn chairs for at-home comfort as you listen to amazing blues from 11 a.m. thru 5:30 p.m.
Zephyrhills Chamber President Melonie Monson said, “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the State BBQ Championship and are excited to showcase this beautiful community and all we have to offer. We’re most excited about our Kidz Grilling Competition and can hardly wait to see the youth ages 4-15 show off their grilling skills while being mentored by local Pit Masters. The BBQ Committee will award trophies to the winners and BBQ swag bags full of goodies for the top ten. This is going to be a special night for all of us”.
The Cornhole Tourney will include Friday night with a $500 purse and the Saturday Tourney will include two-player team-double elimination tournaments featuring two divisions: The ‘Well-Seasoned Division’ for more skilled competitors is $40 per team, and will have a total payout of $500 as well as 1, 2nd & 3rd place trophies and will begin at 12:00 p.m. A ‘Still-Marinating Division’ is available for recreational competitors and cost $20 per team. Prizes will include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies along with BBQ swag bags full of goodies and will begin at 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration for both divisions will include a parking pass which will offset the $10 event parking.
In addition to the barbecue competition and live blues music, the Kidz Zone will entertain with face painting, arts & crafts, and games. You can also enjoy the Swine-N-Shine Car Show, the Business Expo, and our Military History Museum. The Zephyrhills Museum of Military History located across the street will be open for visitors to enjoy this impressive and unique collection of memorabilia and information.
Pigz in Z’Hills has helped The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce to provide $40,000 in scholarships for local Zephyrhills area students in the 11 years since its inception. Students aren’t the only one benefitting from Pigz in Z’Hills. Many local 501(c)3 youth groups and charities that dedicate time and talent to make this a successful event are awarded donations raised from the event. Its success has allowed the Chamber to “Pay it Forward” with donations to scholarships, youth leadership programs and children’s charities every year since its beginning.
The OneBlood, Blood Mobile will be on site once again. All donors will receive free admission and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, and cholesterol screening!
The Festival is presented by the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and is a “Experience Florida’s Sports Coast” event in partnership with the City of Zephyrhills and Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, Suncoast Credit Union, Duke Energy, PuroClean, Advent Health Zephyrhills, American Infrastructure Development, Sonny’s BBQ, SouthState Bank, Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, Chick fil A Zephyrhills, Golden Corral, Jarrett Ford, BEARCOM, Pepin Distributing, EZ Clean Car Wash, Florida Trailer Solutions and TECO. Advertising Partners include: The Laker/Lutz News, Tampa Bay Times, Zephyrhills Free Press and Tampa Type & Print.
For more information visit www.ZephyrhillsChamber.org, call (813) 782-1913 or visit our Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Facebook Page.