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Love Barbecue? Here are 6 BBQ Festivals You Must Attend!

What better time is there than summer? The days are longer, the sun shines more, and the waters warm up. And although the weather can be downright hot, summer gives us more options for outdoor activities and fun.

What better food is there than barbeque? Cooked right, the meat on the ribs will slide right off of the bone. Delicious pulled pork piled between two buns with one of a thousand variations of bbq sauces poured on makes for a great sandwich! Restaurants have made their reputations by serving the best in local flavors.

And what better way to combine the two than to have a festival? Vendors and homemade cooks converge in an area to show off their talents and prepare some of the best darn bbq they can. The argument between charcoal and gas grilling rages between neighboring vendors while festival-goers enjoy samples from both.

If you are looking to make your summer a great one, then take a festival tour of the United States and enjoy some of the best bbq you will ever taste!


I Love Barbecue Festival

Lake Placid in New York State is the location of one of the nation’s best bbq festivals. Coinciding with America’s birthday, this Fourth of July festival hosts live musicians, motorcycle parades, and chefs from across the Northeast with a wide variety of barbecue and side items.

W.C. Handy Barbecue

The Henderson Music Preservation Society holds a yearly event in celebration of blues music. It has become a major event for the city of Henderson, Kentucky. The Taste of Henderson Barbecue is held on Opening Day of the event and allows vendors throughout the state to participate in the cookout. Barbecue is served in abundance but the cooks also offer some of the best chicken, rice, and beans around.

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue

Kansas City is perhaps the most important location for barbecue enthusiasts and chefs. It is home to the world’s largest bbq cooking competition. More than 500 (!) teams of amateurs and pitmasters compete in this event, not just for the best meat but also in categories for best sides as well. Over 50,000 people attend this delicious event yearly!

Texas Monthly MeatUp

This one may not be a free event, but it is one that is worth the price. Spend the day tasting the best bbq available in the State of Texas. Full of live music, cold beer, and over 50 stalls serving plates of everyone’s favorite food, this meat-up in San Antonio is just the place to go for your bbq cravings!

Giant National BBQ Championship

Washington, D.C. is home to the nation’s leaders. Protestors, lobbyists, foreign diplomats, and concerned citizens all visit the capital to push their agendas. Foodies come to D.C. to push for something else — the best tasting barbecue they can get ahold of! More than a cookout, this festival is a cookoff; the chef with the most popular bbq recipe gets to claim the title of Grand Champion of the Giant Barbecue Battle. Thousands of attendees fill the streets to enjoy the food, the fun, and the music, as well as decide on the best bbq in the nation.

South Sound BBQ Festival

Held around the same time as Independence Day, Lacey, Washington becomes the unlike spot for a great celebration. Slow-cooked barbecue, hot-and-spicy buffalo wings go well with a cold beer and the summer sun. Attend this festival in the Pacific Northwest as part of your tour to enjoy some free bbq; you can even enter the eating contest for more food fun.