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Top 10 All-American BBQ Festivals and Bar B Que Competitions

BBQ Festival

If you love to grill, make a road trip out of it. Visit and compete in some of the best BBQ festivals across the nation. Put your grilling techniques on display. If you're a novice, then take a road trip and pick upsome tips along the way. Each festival boasts pitmasters galore to help you become the griller you were meant to be.

1. Kentucky State BBQ Festival

This unique festival is scheduled for September 7-8 2013 and takes place in Danville KY. Featuring grill masters include: Moe Cason, Melissa Cookston, Shelly Hunt, Carey Bringle. Learn some tricks of the trade and develop grilling skills that'll last a lifetime.

Benefit the Heart of Kentucky United Way and participate in the BBQ Festival Bourbon Barrel Art Project. Bourbon barrels are supplied by Jim Beam and Makers Mark Bourbon. Vote for your favorite barrel and participate in the auction, all proceeds go to charity.

Enjoy great music and great food in the heart of Kentucky when you stop by this festival.

BBQ Chicken

2. W.C Handy Blues & Barbeque

If you're a blues fan and want to enjoy great food and live music then make stop at the W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival. This is one ofthe largest free music festivals in the nation and draws attendees from nearly every state. It celebrates the life and legacy of blues performer and Hendersonr esident William Christopher Handy.

Opening day, experience the "Taste of Henderson Barbecue" where you can sample a variety of some of the best local grub while listening togreat music. The lineup includes 21 blues bands including Royal Southern Brotherhood, Janiva Magness, The Michael Gough Group and more. This festival takes place in Henderson, KY, and runs from June 13-15, 2013.

3. Hogs for the Cause

Join Hogs for the Cause as they embark on another great year of fundraising. Set for March 22-23, 2013 in New Orleans City Park in LA, this BBQ festival is sure to satisfy your craving for spicy food. This non-profit organization hosts an annual food and music festival to raise money for pediatric brain cancer care.

The $5 admission fee gets you in where you can mingle with pitmasters and teams. Hogtails, beer, wine, and soft drinks are all available for purchase. There are 80 competitive teams comprised of top chefs, grillmasters, and backyard fanatics. Whoever wins the competition gets to boast the "High on the Hog" grand champion title. There are awards for best sauce and fundraising, too.

Music

4. Beef, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival

Taking place in Carey, NC August 2-3, 2013, the Beef,Bourbon, and BBQ Festival is a must do event. With over 60 beers on tap and 40bourbons to choose from, you'll get to sample some of the best drinks out there.Find a place to relax in the cigar tent and sample bar b que galore includingpulled pork right off the hog, ribs, brisket, chicken, sausage and all theembellishments you can imagine.

For just $75, you can enjoy the Grand Poobah experience, a2-day all access ticket that allows you to enjoy every aspect of the festival.There's live music, grilling seminars, contests and exhibits displaying avariety of sauces, accessories and more. For a chance to compete and put your skills to the test, register online at the Beef, Bourbon, and BBQ festival site.

5. Los Angeles BBQ Festival

The LA BBQ festival returns to Santa Monica Beach every year to promise some of the best BBQ around. This three-day event features authentic flavors from Texas, Kansas City, and Chicago. It also includes regional specialties like tri-tip, beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage, plus Kansas City and Memphis style ribs.

Enjoy live entertainment, award winning desserts and 20 beers on tap. Admission is $60 and is all-inclusive so you can regale in all the BBQ, desserts, and beverages you want. Entertainment includes great bands like Petty Cash and Country Gone Awry. Spend a day at the beach and take a culinary tour of some of the best tasting BBQ. What better place to enjoy great food and music than the shores of Santa Monica, CA?

Jack Daniel's Label

6. Jack Daniel's World Championship Barbecue Invitational

Head on out to Lynchburg TN to take part in the 24thannual Jack Daniel's World Championship Barbecue. Slated for October 26, 2013, this event will put your grilling skills to the test. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, this festival has something for everyone. To compete, domestic teams must have won a state championship featuring at least 25 competing teams or a local competition of at least 50 teams. For many, winning the Jack Daniel'sWorld Championship Invitational is a dream come true.

Just want to eat some great BBQ? Sit back and partake insome outstanding grub, listen to live music, drink, and be merry. Watch Pig Skin BBQ defend his role as Grand Champion. Nothing can be more fun than an autumn weekend in Tennessee eating great BBQ.

7. Memphis in May International Festival and World Championship Barbecue

Want a little more Tennessee? Then head out to Memphis forthe May 37th Annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The May festival just ended but 2014 is as good a year as any to take part in this popular event. If you're serious about grilling then you know this is thecompetition to win!

Rave reviews give this BBQ event a big thumbs up. Enjoy great food from the best. Hundreds of teams compete for more than $110,000 in prizes and supreme bragging rights. Competitive grillers want to win this competition.

Grilling is the focus of this event but you can't have grilling without the Ms. Piggie Idol competition where locals put their vocal skills to the test. Men dress up in tutus and snouts while women kick up their heels. For even more fun there's a t-shirt contest and a best booth winner.

8. The American Royal

The American Royal festival has been a Kansas City tradition since 1899. The competition celebrates the region's rich agricultural heritage through competition, education, and entertainment. The American Royal Association is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships, education, awards and competitive learning experiences by acknowledging hard work, leadership skills, and agrarian values.

The mission behind this project is to promote American Agricultural education. If you want to taste great BBQ, the American Royal hosts the KC Masterpiece Invitational Contest. More than 100 teams compete annually including teams from the US, Canada and abroad. To compete, you must have won a competition sometime between August 1, 2012 and July 13, 2013. This year's eventis scheduled for October 5, 2013.

Ribs and corn

9. Blazin' Hog BBQ Competition and Zydeco Music Festival

On September 21, 2013 make your way to California and visit Mariposa for the Blazin' Hog BBQ Competition and Zydeco Music Festival. This festival is all about food, fun, and music.

Put your grilling skills to the testor simply enjoy great BBQ, beer, wine, arts and crafts, vendors, and cash prizes. Relax and listen to The Bluesbox Bayou Band. Admission is only $15 and typically attracts more than 3,000 music and BBQ lovers.

BBQ contestants compete for a $500 grand prize and areevaluated by a panel of judges and the tasting public. There are three different categories of barbecue competition: tri-tip, pork ribs, and chicken that adhere to the Kansas City Barbecue Society rules and standards. This event benefits the JCF Foundation, which helps buy equipment and support the local John C. Fremont Hospital.

10. Safeway Barbeque Battle

Visit Historic Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC andenjoy the 21st Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle. CNN calls it one of the top 5 summer events in the country. Tens of thousands of people attend and watch BBQ teams and restaurants from around the country compete for $40,000 in cash and prizes and the title of National Pork Barbecue Champion. Scheduled for June 22-23rd of 2013, it makes a great summer vacation.

30 bands on 3 stages perform while grillmasters cook upsome great tasting grub. There are activities for kids and plenty of food anddrink for the adults. Watch celebrity chefs demonstrate techniques, take-in a talent show and more. There is so much to do, you'll need the full two days to do it.

So take a road trip and make vacation out of visiting avariety of BBQ festivals across the country. Each one has something great tooffer. Whether you're a participant or not, it's a great way to spend some time with family and friends.

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