Giant’s National Barbecue Festival Kicks Off Summer

Giant’s annual National Capital Barbecue Battle came to a close last weekend. Tens of thousands of people came out to the nation's capital for the competition and to enjoy two days of warm weather, delicious barbecue, live shows and a variety of vendors. There was plenty of grilled food, drinks and free samples to go around, as well as free activities and exhibitions for the community to enjoy.

Festival-goers flocked to meet Washington Redskins cheerleaders, compete in the Nathan’s hotdog eating contest, and to take pictures in front of the Planters Nutmobile, among an array of other unique attractions.

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Jourdan Taylor

The Planter's Nutmobile

Rows of vendor tents with cold drinks, small bites and other products to sample outlined the perimeter of the festival grounds. Healthcare screenings, charging stations and “chill zones” were available for the public to enjoy. Famous Daves, RXBar, Popsicle and Sabra among others presented us with tasty samples to refuel in the midst of summer heat under the marquee of The Giant Sampling tent. Although there was fun available for the whole family, adults were able to expand their palates at the Corks to Caps Wine and Microbrew Tasting Tent.

The smell of brisket, ribs and smoked turkey legs wafted through the air as dozens of diverse live bands and cooking exhibitions highlighted the lively and convivial energy of the festival throughout the weekend. Stars, including Tuffy Stone and Myron Mixon from Destination America’s TV show “BBQ Pit Masters” also made an appearance. Barbecue Master Mixon met with fans wanting to know the secret to a perfect brisket, and presented signed versions of his new cookbook.

The celebrity chefs competed side by side with pitmasters from all over the country, for several titles such as America’s Best Barbecue, Perdue Sizzlin’ Chicken Contest and the Jim Campbell Spirit of BBQ award. Dozens of pitmasters spent the weekend grilling as crowds of hungry people eagerly lined up to judge. Uncle Pig’s Barbecue Pit and Champion Wolf’s Revenge BBQ took home the grand prize as Grand Champion and Reserve Champion respectively. Members of the armed forces also competed head to head in the Military Chef Cookoff for attendees to sample and decide which branch of military grills the tastiest barbecue.

In addition to featuring superb food and live entertainment, The Giant Barbecue Battle annually raises funds for local charity causes, this year benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank and USO-Metro. If you were unable to take part in this year’s event, no need to worry. Next year’s festival is set to take place on June 27th 2020.