January through March is BBQ Festival Season in Polk County! These barbecue competitions bring the best teams from all over Florida and even some from out of state. While they compete for prizes, we get to enjoy the mouth watering BBQ at these family friendly events.

You’ll find an assortment of ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, sides, desserts, and more. In addition to good eats, you’ll also find live entertainment, kids activities, and plenty of other treats to keep everyone happy. Plus, all of these events raise funds for non-profits in our community!

Lakeland PigFest, Smoke on the Water in Winter Haven, and Ribs on the Ridge in Haines City are all annual local favorites – details below.

Lakeland Pigfest

Friday, January 25 – 5:00-10:00pm
Saturday, January 26 – 10:00am – 5:oopm

Lakeland Pigfest

Pigfest Lakeland
January 24, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on January 25, 2020 at 10:00 am

SUN ‘n FUN Campus
4175 Medulla Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811 US
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Join the Lakeland Pigfest Board of Directors and the over 150 competition barbecue teams for a weekend of good eatin’, good friends, and good tunes to benefit Lakeland-area charities as we kick off the Annual Lakeland Pigfest! Located at the SUN n' FUN Campus.

Admission to Lakeland Pigfest is just $5 and kids 12 years and younger can enter for free. Parking is free. The good eatin’ won’t cost you much and is well worth the value. Stop by a Pig Bucks booth (located near the entrance and various locations throughout) and exchange your cash for Pig Bucks, the official currency of the Lakeland Pigfest. By purchasing food from competition teams, you are supporting their efforts and local charities.

Smoke on the Water – Winter Haven

Friday, February 1 – 6:00-10:00pm
Saturday, February 2 – 10:00am – 6:oopm

Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition

February 1 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 2, 2019 at 10:00 am

Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs
2400 Havendale Blvd. NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881 United States
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This epic BBQ event is held at the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club in Winter Haven. 2400 Havendale Blvd. NW. A free “Park & Ride” service will be provided from Champions Church, located at 1801 Havendale Blvd. NW. Premium parking ($5) also available. Friday Night Festivities featuring a sneak peak at the BBQ vendors begin Friday, February 1 at 6 pm and are open to all (Friday entry – $10). Saturday Night Join us for the big BBQ competition and music on Saturday, February 2 from 10 am – 6 pm (Saturday entry – $1 donation). 100% of funds raised go directly to Boys and Girls Clubs in Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Haines City. The cost is only a $1 donation (kids 12 & under are free).

Sizzlin’ Smokin’ BBQ – Winter Haven

Friday, February 8 – 6:00 – 9:00pm

Sizzlin’ Smokin’ BBQ – Winter Haven

February 8 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Winter Haven – MLK Park on Lake Silver
199 East Lake Silver Drive Northeast
Winter Haven, FL 33881 US
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The City of Winter Haven is excited to bring you a saucy event. The Sizzlin' Smokin' BBQ Cook-off will take place Friday February 8, 2019. It will be located at MLK Park on the beautiful shores of Lake Silver. Micah Shane will be performing and there will be plenty of BBQ to be had. We hope you will consider joining us. COST - We are excited to bring you these festivities for a FREE admission. BBQ Sample tickets will be available for purchase. They are $10 which gets you 5 meat samples and 2 sides. You can pre order them starting Monday January 21, 2019. Contact (863) 291-5656 for ticket sales, proceeds go to benefit the United Way of Central Florida. Beer, water and soda will also be available for purchase. VOTING & RAFFLES During Sizzlin' Smokin' BBQ Cook-off, there will also be a chance for you to vote on your favorite BBQ of the evening with the People's Choice Award. There is also a chance to win a Pro 20 Pellet Traeger Grill during Sizzlin' Smokin' BBQ. You can purchase your $10 raffle tickets at the event or prior to the event at Nora Mayo Hall. You do not have to be present to win. If you have any questions or need more information please call (863) 298-7687

Ribs on the Ridge – Haines City

Friday, February 22 – 5:00 – 9:00pm
Saturday, February 23 – 10:00am – 5:oopm

Ribs on the Ridge in Haines City

February 22 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 23, 2019 at 10:00 am

Haines City – Lake Eva Park
555 Ledwith Ave
Haines City, FL 33844 US
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Haines City’s annual BBQ competition sanctioned by Florida BBQ Association will be held on February 22, 2019 from 5 PM to 9 PM and February 23, 2019 from 10 AM to 5 PM. This event is FREE to the public. This year's event will benefit KidsPACK, an organization that feeds food insecure children in and around Polk County. Enjoy live entertainment throughout the event as well as food and crafts vendors. Ribs on the Ridge also draws barbecue teams from across Florida and the nation. Professional and amateur teams compete for cash prizes, trophies, and bragging rights.

Other Upcoming Food & Drink Events

Lakeland Pancake Festival – Flipping for Charities

Lakeland Pancake Festival – Flipping for Charities

February 9 @ 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tigertown at Joker Marchant Stadium
2220 N Lake Ave
Lakeland, FL 33805 US
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"Flipping for Charities", the 61st Annual Kiwanis Pancake Festival will be held Saturday, February 9, 2019 inside Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Please join us for delicious pancakes and sausage as well as coffee and juice and a variety of entertainment.  "Flipping for Charities" has raised millions of dollars that have been distributed to various local charities having a direct impact on the children of our community!!Please join us for delicious pancakes and sausage as well as coffee and juice and a variety of entertainment.  "Flipping for Charities" has raised millions of dollars that have been distributed to various local charities having a direct impact on the children of our community!! Family Pack: $20 (2 Adults/2 Children) Adults: $8 Children: $4 (ages 2-12) *Children’s tickets include moonwalk activities and a milk ticket.

1st Annual Sugarbuzz Dessert Festival

1st Annual Sugarbuzz Dessert Festival

March 9 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
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The Downtown Farmers Curb Market's first annual Sugarbuzz Dessert Festival will take place on March 9, 2019 from 8am to 2pm. Shop with a wide variety of "sweets" vendors--talented purveyors of pies, pastries, cookies, donuts, sweet breads, and more! Check back later for more details on specific vendors, their location in the market, and the products they sell.  

Lakeland Summer Activities for Kids

Be sure to check out our Spring Activity Guide for Spring Break Camps, Spring Break activities, tips for attending Sun ‘n Fun & Mayfaire, details on Lakeland’s favorite annual Spring events, and more.