kidz grillin champion

12th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival makes FBA Barbecue State Championship

By Diane Bedard Posted on February 10, 2022

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce proudly invites BBQ and Blues enthusiasts to drive-in or fly-in to the 12th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, located at 5200 Airport Road in Zephyrhills, March 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. and March 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

The Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival has come a long way in the 12 years since its inception and its BBQ contest has been named the 2022 Florida State BBQ Championship! With this honor, the popular festival has been expanded to included Friday night events.

A Kidz Grillin’ Competition has been added to Friday’s festivities from 5-9 p.m., where kidz aged 4-15 compete for trophies, while being mentored by local Pit Masters. Through community donations and sponsorships from Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC and Chick fil A Zephyrhills, the first 25 youth registered are able to compete for free. If you miss the first 25, it’s only $25 to compete with meat and supplies provided.  To register your future pitmaster for the Kidz Grillin’ Competition, click here.

Florida BBQ Association Barbecue Competition with $10,000 in Prizes

As usual, the festival will feature a Florida BBQ Association-approved barbecue competition, but for 2022 Pigz in Z’Hills is the Florida State BBQ Association’s Championship location – that means we have the best of the best Florida barbecue coming to Zephyrhills to vie for the title of State Champion! Sounds delicious to me!

FSA BBQ pitmaster at Pigz in Zhills
Pigz in Z’Hills was chosen by the Florida BBQ Association as their Championship location for 2022! Image courtesy of Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.

It is the mission of the FBA to promote the uniquely American tradition of barbecuing meat over natural wood or charcoal-fired heat and smoke through education, family-friendly fellowship, and competition.

About 55 competition teams, both professional and backyard, are expected this year and will be competing for top honors and trophies in four standard categories: Chicken, Pork, Brisket, and Ribs.

Professional teams have the added incentive of potentially winning $10,000 in prize money. Parking is free at the venue and admission is $5 per adult and children under 42” will be free. You can prepurchase your admission tickets by clicking here.

florida state barbecue
Pigz in Z’Hills is a national level barbecue competition, qualifying competitors for three prestigious contests. Can you smell the meat? Image courtesy of Pixabay.

In addition, Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival has distinguished itself to be a qualifier for three prestigious championship contests:  The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, TN, considered the Superbowl of BBQ contests; the American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City, the world’s largest and oldest contest; and the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational. This year, because the FBA State Championships will be held at this event, team competition will be fierce.

live blues at Pigz in Zhills
Enjoy live blues at Pigz in Z’Hills. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy local, regional, and national blues acts while you munch on the best BBQ available. Image courtesy of Zephyhills Chamber of Commerce.

Blues to Make your Heart Sing

The AdventHealth Stage will be alive on Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring a crowd favorite, Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band starting at 7:30p.m. with TC Carr, Rob Stoney, Josh Nelms and our very own Chuck Riley. The Sandspurs will open the evening at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s impressive line-up of blues music features headliner Memphis Lightning, as well as the Kid Royal Band, Jimmy Griswold, and Ed Wright.

Memphis Lightning is a high energy, roots blues band that tours internationally. They are part of an impressive lineup of blues acts on March 4-5 at Pigz in Z’hills. Video courtesy of Memphis Lightning.

Bring your lawn chairs for at-home comfort as you listen to amazing blues from 11 a.m. thru 5:30 p.m.

Pigz in ZHills chosen as State BBQ Championship

Zephyrhills Chamber President Melonie Monson states: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the State BBQ Championship and are excited to showcase this beautiful community and all we have to offer. We’re so excited about our Kidz Grillin’ Competition and can hardly wait to see the youth ages 4-15 show off their grilling skills while being mentored by local Pit Masters.  The BBQ Committee will award trophies to the winners and BBQ swag bags full of goodies for the top ten. This is going to be a special night for all of us”.

cornhole competition at pigz in z'hills
The Cornhole Competition has two levels – ‘Well Seasoned’ and ‘Still Marinating’ and spans both days. Image courtesy of the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.

Cornhole Competitions with Two Divisions

The Cornhole Tourney will begin Friday night with a $500 purse. The Saturday Tourney will include 2-player team-double elimination tournaments featuring the ‘Well-Seasoned Division’ for more skilled competitors ($40 per team with a total payout of $1,000 as well as 1, 2nd & 3rd place trophies) begins at 12:00 p.m.  A ‘Still-Marinating Division’ is available for recreational competitors and costs only $20 per team. Prizes will include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies along with BBQ swag bags full of goodies and will begin at 3:00 p.m.

The OneBlood, Blood Mobile will be on site once again.  All donors will receive free admission and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, and cholesterol screening!

classic car show
The Swine & Shine Car and Bike Show is open to all competitors. No preregistration required. Image courtesy of Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.

Bring your Classic Car or Bike to Enter the Swine and Shine Car Show

Cruise on into the Swine & Shine Car Show. No Pre-registration required. Only a $10 entry fee.
Please note: No coolers, no pets but do bring your lawn chairs!

pigz in zhills
Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival benefits local kids scholarships and nonprofit organizations. Image courtesy of Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.

Pigz in Z’Hills proceeds Benefit local Students and Nonprofit Organizations

Pigz in Z’Hills has helped The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce to provide $40,000 in scholarships for local Zephyrhills area students in the 11 years since its inception. Students aren’t the only one benefitting from Pigz in Z’Hills. Many local 501(c)3 youth groups and charities that dedicate time and talent to make this a successful event are awarded donations raised from the event. Its success has allowed the Chamber to “Pay it Forward” with donations to scholarships, youth leadership programs and children’s charities every year since its beginning.

The Festival is presented by the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and is an “Experience Florida’s Sports Coast” event in partnership with the City of Zephyrhills and Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, Suncoast Credit Union, Duke Energy, PuroClean, Advent Health Zephyrhills, American Infrastructure Development, Sonny’s BBQ, SouthState Bank, Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, Chick fil A Zephyrhills,  Golden Corral, Jarrett Ford, BEARCOM, Pepin Distributing, EZ Clean Car Wash, Florida Trailer Solutions and TECO. Advertising Partners include:, The Laker/Lutz News, Tampa Bay Times, Zephyrhills Free Press and Tampa Type & Print.

For more information visit, call (813) 782-1913 or visit our Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Facebook Page.

Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival 2022 at-a-Glance

When: March 4 from 5-9 pm and March 5 from 10 am to 6pm.
Where: Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, 5200 Airport Road in Zephyrhills. Drive in or fly in.
What: Florida State Championship BBQ competition, Kidz Grillin’ Competition, Cornhole Tournaments, Live blues concerts featuring Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band, the Sandspurs, Memphis Lightning, the Kid Royal Band, Jimmy Griswold, and Ed Wright. Open Car Show and WWII Military Museum. Vendors onsite.
Cost: $5 adults. Children under 42″ free. Tickets can be purchased in advance here. Parking is free.
What to Bring: Lawn chairs for the blues concert. Money to buy food and drink.
What not to Bring: Coolers and pets.



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