While most of the people turning out to the 12th annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival will be focused on having fun — some will be in a more competitive mode.
That’s because this year’s festival — to be held March 4 and March 5 at 5200 Airport Road — also is the venue for Florida’s barbecue championship.
“We were named the Florida Barbecue State Championship, so we’re going to have competitors from all over the state coming, trying to win the state championship, so that’s exciting,” said Melonie Monson, executive director of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re expecting about 60 teams to compete this year,” Monson said.
Kids also will be testing their skills in the Kidz Grillin’ contest on March 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We have kids from 4 to 17 competing and we got donations for 25 kids to be able to compete for free,” she said.
There will five teams and they’ll be mentored by five local pit masters.
“They’ll be cooking pork and competing for trophies and they’re going to have goody bags. It’s just going to be a fun night for kids to come,” Monson said.
Cornhole enthusiasts will have a chance to prove their prowess on the evening of March 4 and the afternoon of March 5.
The cornhole tournament on March 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., is open to all. Teams of two will compete for bragging rights and $500 in prizes. The cost is $20 per team.
On March 5, there are cornhole competitions in two divisions.
The Well-Seasoned division will begin at noon, with an entry fee of $40 for two-person teams. Contestants will vie for $1,000 in payouts.
The Still-Marinating competition begins at 2 p.m., with two-person teams paying an entry fee of $20. Trophies will be awarded for the top three teams.
Monson encourages festival-goers to try their hand at the game.
“It’s inexpensive to compete and it’s fun,” she said.
Others may prefer to sit back, relax and listen to the tunes — and the festival features bands on both days.
Two bands are set to take the stage on March 4, with Sandspurs, beginning at 6 p.m.; and, Chuck Riley’s All Stars, at 7:15 p.m.
On March 5, Ed Wright will perform at 11 a.m.; Jimmy Griswold, at 12:45 p.m.; The Kid Royal Band, at 2:30 p.m.; and Memphis Lightning, at 4:15 p.m.
Other options for festival-goers are a bike and car show, a military museum, a kids zone and a business expo.
Vendors will be offering beer, barbecue, and an array of food and drink choices.
The festival, which relies heavily on sponsors and volunteers, is still seeking additional helpers, Monson said. Those wishing to pitch in can email the chamber office to volunteer.
The chamber will reach back with assignments, Monson said.
Admission to the festival is $5 per person, except for those 42 inches or shorter, and parking is free.
Fly-ins are welcome, but coolers and pets are not, and be sure to bring a lawn chair or a blanket.
Proceeds support local youth and education programs.
For more information, visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org, or call 813-782-1913.
12th annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival
When: March 4, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; March 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 5200 Airport Road, Zephyrhills
Cost: $5 admission (kids under 42 inches are free), free parking
Volunteers still needed
Organizers for the 12th annual Pigz in Z’Hlls BBQ and Blues Festival are still looking for volunteers to help out at the festival. If you’d like to volunteer, you can get additional information by emailing .
Published February 23, 2022