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BBQ Festivals and Competitions in Lakeland + Polk County

BBQ Festivals Barbecue Competitions Polk County Lakeland

Polk County is home to so many BBQ Festivals that we have an “unofficial” BBQ Season from January – March, and in 2021 you can find events spread out throughout the spring and fall! Lakeland Pigfest has been rescheduled to May 2021, and other favorite events are being delayed in an abundance of caution.

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!

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

*In 2021, annual events may be postponed or canceled in an abundance of caution. Check back for updates on bar-b-que events, and always check directly with event organizers for any last-minute changes.*

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for safety protocols, mask requirements, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations. Be informed, wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, have fun, and make good choices!

2021 BBQ EVENTS IN POLK COUNTY

Lake Alfred Bluegrass & Kickin’ Chickin’ Wing Competition

January 9 @ 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Lake Alfred – Lion’s Park
175 N. Nekoma Avenue
Lake Alfred, FL 33850 United States
+ Google Map

It's almost time again for the Lake Alfred Bluegrass & Kickin' Chickin' Wing Competition! We are going to feature a chicken wing contest again this year but don't worry there will be lots of sweet & smoky BBQ as well.
Entertainment provided by Southern Express, Hwy 41 South, Greener Grass, Justin Mason & Blue Night, Bits of Grass, and the Clogging Connection. Come out for a great day of music and food on beautiful Lake Alfred, enjoy the beer garden along with all the wings and BBQ you can eat!
Parking and admission are always free and remember to bring your own lawn-chair! Mask wearing and social distancing from those outside your party will be highly encouraged. For more information please call the Parks Department at (863) 291-5272.

Pigapalooza! – Mulberry’s BBQ Competition

March 12 @ 5:00 pm - March 13 @ 10:00 pm
Mulberry – Kid Ellis Road Park
Kid Ellis Rd
Mulberry, FL 33860 United States
+ Google Map

Mark your calendars! Pigapalooza! is back for 2021! More details to come. Florida Barbeque Association sanctioned barbeque competition. Enjoy music fun and lip-smacking BBQ. Check back for confirmed times. Based on last year, most likely Friday, March 12 from 5 PM - 10 PM and Saturday 13 from 9 AM - 5 PM.

Pigapalooza! – Mulberry’s BBQ Competition

March 13 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mulberry – Kid Ellis Road Park
Kid Ellis Rd
Mulberry, FL 33860 United States
+ Google Map

Mark your calendars! Pigapalooza! is back for 2021! More details to come. Florida Barbeque Association sanctioned barbeque competition. Enjoy music fun and lip-smacking BBQ. Check back for confirmed times. Based on last year, most likely Friday, March 12 from 5 PM - 10 PM and Saturday 13 from 9 AM - 5 PM.

Grills Gone Wild BBQ Event – Davenport

April 23 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Davenport – Market Street
Market Street
Davenport, FL 33837 United States
+ Google Map

This BBQ Competition is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association. Check back for updates. Currently scheduled for Friday April 23, 2021 and Saturday April 24, 2021. Market Street, Davenport, FL 33836 Please check out our website at www.mydavenport.org for more info and applications

Grills Gone Wild BBQ Event – Davenport

April 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Davenport – Market Street
Market Street
Davenport, FL 33837 United States
+ Google Map

This BBQ Competition is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association. Check back for updates. Currently scheduled for Friday April 23, 2021 and Saturday April 24, 2021. Market Street, Davenport, FL 33836 Please check out our website at www.mydavenport.org for more info and applications

Pigfest Lakeland

Lakeland Pigfest (Postponed to May 2021)

May 14 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
SUN ‘n FUN Campus
4175 Medulla Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811 US
+ Google Map

Pigfest 2021 has been Postponed - Originally scheduled for January 29-30, 2021 - Rescheduled for May 14-15, 2021.


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.

Pigfest Lakeland

Lakeland Pigfest (Postponed to May 2021)

May 15 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
SUN ‘n FUN Campus
4175 Medulla Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811 US
+ Google Map

Pigfest 2021 has been Postponed - Originally scheduled for January 29-30, 2021 - Rescheduled for May 14-15, 2021.


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.

Ribs on the Ridge in Haines City

July 3 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Haines City – Lake Eva Park
555 Ledwith Ave
Haines City, FL 33844 US
+ Google Map

Tentatively scheduled for July 3, 2021 - Ribs on the Ridge is where the sweet smells of barbecue fills the air and pit masters fire up platters of goodness. This two day sanctioned event through the Florida BBQ Association will bring professional and backyard teams from across Florida and other states to compete for cash prizes, trophies, and bragging rights to the best BBQ in town.  Attendees of Ribs on the Ridge can expect to over-indulge in tasting endless varieties of BBQ, live entertainment, food vendors, beer and wine, and much more! Admission is free. Whether you are a backyard cook, a professional cook, or would just like to enjoy good barbecue, Ribs on the Ridge is an event you do not want to miss!

Rock ‘N’ Brews & BBQ – Camp Mack Lake Wales

October 23 @ 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Lake Wales – Camp Mack
14900 Camp Mack Rd
Lake Wales, FL 33898 United States
+ Google Map

Join us at Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort for our annual Rock ‘N’ Brews & BBQ on October 21-23, 2021. Come out and help us crown the Camp Mack Champion! This weekend will include FBA Sanctioned BBQ contest with both Pro’s, Backyard, and Kids Division, Halloween Costume Contest, Craft Fair & Live Music from local bands. General Admission is FREE! Tickets will be sold for the People’s Choice BBQ Tasting at the Riverfront on Saturday, October 23rd. Open to the public on Saturday, October 23, 2021.

Plant City Pig Jam

November 19 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Plant City Pig Jam
1401 Gordon Food Service Dr
Plant City, FL 33566 United States
+ Google Map

Join us for the annual Plant City Pig Jam. Don't miss out on fabulous food, live entertainment, kids activities, great merchandise, and of course BBQ! Pig Jammers will have BBQ and a lot more to enjoy - while grills will be busy most of the two days, there will also be a rock climbing wall, moon walks, vendors, and live music to enjoy. Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition. Teams will compete in both professional and amateur divisions, prizes for the top ten teams will be awarded in each of the following categories: BBQ Ribs, BBQ Pork, Beef Brisket, and Chicken.

Plant City Pig Jam

November 20 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Plant City Pig Jam
1401 Gordon Food Service Dr
Plant City, FL 33566 United States
+ Google Map

Join us for the annual Plant City Pig Jam. Don't miss out on fabulous food, live entertainment, kids activities, great merchandise, and of course BBQ! Pig Jammers will have BBQ and a lot more to enjoy - while grills will be busy most of the two days, there will also be a rock climbing wall, moon walks, vendors, and live music to enjoy. Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition. Teams will compete in both professional and amateur divisions, prizes for the top ten teams will be awarded in each of the following categories: BBQ Ribs, BBQ Pork, Beef Brisket, and Chicken.

2020 BBQ EVENTS – CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES

Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition – CANCELED for 2021

February 7, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs
2400 Havendale Blvd. NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881 United States
+ Google Map

Smoke on the Water has been Canceled for 2021. The Annual Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition is hosted each February and is a Florida BBQ Association State Championship. Funds raised benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County. More than 80 teams from across the country will compete for the Florida State Grand Champion title. Unique entertainment includes; a Music Festival, an aerial flyover, and awards for the best chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket, which will be announced at 5:30 p.m on Saturday. Funds raised will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Polk County.

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UPCOMING FOOD + DRINK EVENTS

April First Friday

April 2 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
+ Google Map

Head to Downtown Lakeland on the first Friday of every month for First Friday! Downtown shops and restaurants will be open late. Enjoy goodies, giveaways, and discounts from local business exhibitors. Shop in the Makers Market, which features local artists and creators, and check out the Classy Car Show on Main St.

MORE FOOD + DRINK ARTICLES

Check out our full Spring Activities Guide for more things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida from January – May.