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10th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills was a hit!

10th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills was a hit!

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on February 8, 2020

The 10th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival was thrilled with
attendance Saturday, January 18th drawing more than 11,000 people to the festival venue at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.

10th Annual Pigz in Z’Hills was a hit!

Blues music flowed from the AdventHealth Pavilion with blues performed by Sean Chambers, The Chris Walker Band, The Sauce Boss, and Chuck Riley’s All-Star Revue. At any one time, hundreds of people were gathered to listen, dance, and eat award-winning barbecue purchased from the professional and backyard barbecue
teams competing at the event.

“It is exciting to say this was our favorite BBQ yet, our team was amazing. We, at the Chamber, are ecstatic with how everything came together,” said Melonie Monson, Executive Director of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce that organizes the event. “This was the fourth year at the new facility and the new updates by the City to the pavilion were wonderful. A new building was constructed behind the stage which was great for our crew. The teams this year were top notch. We had a variety of concessions who put out amazing food and the Kidz Zone was a huge hit. I heard rave reviews of the car show, and the bands were better than ever. I talked to several people who traveled many miles just to hear our bands.”

As usual, the festival was built around a Florida BBQ Association-approved barbecue competition. Fifty-six competition teams, both professional and backyard competed for top honors and trophies in four standard categories of Chicken, Pork, Brisket, and Ribs. Professional teams have the added incentive of potentially winning $10,000 in prizes.

In the professional barbecue division, GitChewSum BBQ of Venice, Fl. under head cook Allen Ponerleau took top place overall winning $2,000, plus $1,475 in individual category awards. Pig Chicka Cow Cow of Apopka, Fl., led by Lee Thompson took second place winning $1,500 and $500 in individual category awards. Both won trophies as well.

Backyard division winners were Quid Pro Q of Tampa, Fl. under Josh Zudar in first place, winning a trophy and $200. Smoke Meat Everyday of Rockledge, Fl. took second place under Chris Yarborough, winning a trophy and $100.

For our 10th Anniversary celebration we added some new contests to Friday night. A Steak Cookoff and Kidz Grillin’ Competition sanctioned by the SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) which was sponsored by Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, and a second Cornhole Tournament sponsored by Tampa Bay Cornhole Association, with a $500 purse.

“We had a great time on Friday night with our new competitions. The Kidz Grillin’ Competition was a huge hit,” Monson said. “Local 7-year-old, Aspen Bahr won the Kidz Grillin’ Competition by cooking a killer pork chop and was the youngest competitor. She was celebrated with hugs and cheers by her family and friends and beamed receiving her trophy and medal. It is wonderful to see the impact Pigz has
on our community.”

Our community festival offered fun for all ages with inflatables at our Kidz Zone, sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union. A vintage flair was in the air as more than 60 cars showed their stuff at our Swine & Shine Car Show run by Chris Drews. We also included the Honor Off-Road Jeep Club and access to the Military History Museum, which is a must-see in Zephyrhills.

Vicky Jones, of Palm Tree Acres, won the one of a kind Cornhole boards, and Patricia Watkins of Westbrooke Manor won a grill donated by Home Depot.

“As always, our Pigz committee did a bang-up job organizing this event and our 200 volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the day to make everything go smoothly,” concluded Monson. “Local favorite Bahr’s Smokin’ Butts with head cook Kevin Bahr took the 1 st place trophy in Brisket which was exciting for his team. Our logistics team lead by Bob Hartwig from Bahr’s Aluminum stepped up again this year to layout the entire venue ensuring everyone was set up and happy. I can’t express how thrilled I am to see the positive results of everyone’s hard work.”

Over the years, the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival has distinguished itself to be a qualifier for four prestigious championship contests: the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tenn., considered the Super Bowl of BBQ contests; the American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City, the
world’s oldest contest; the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational of Sanford, Fla. and the World Food Championships, in Orange Beach, Al. This event is made possible by all of our wonderful sponsors, to include; Florida’s Sports Coast, Avcon, City of Zephyrhills, Suncoast Credit Union, AdventHealth, American Infrastructure Development, PuroClean, CenterState Bank, Sonny’s BBQ, Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, Pasco News Publications, Tampa Bay Times, and more.
Thank you for the continued support in making this event great!

BBQ Competition Results

Professional Division
Grand Champion
GitChewSum BBQ
Reserve Champion
Pig Chicka Cow Cow
1st – Accutech BBQ
2nd – GitChewSum BBQ
3rd – Bearded Monkey’s Twisted Q
1st – GitChewSum BBQ
2nd – Accutech BBQ
Tied for 3 rd – Bull Rush, Black Jack Oak, Swamp Boys
1st – GetChewSum BBQ
2nd – Backyard Bro’s
3rd – Pig Chicka Cow Cow
1st – Cooters N Smoke
2nd – Smokin’ Ain’t Easy
3rd – Pig Chicka Cow Cow

Backyard Division
Grand Champion
Quid Pro Q
Reserve Champion
Smoke Meat Everyday
1st – Jacks Reel BBQ
2nd – Barely Sober BBQ
3rd – Wicked Oak BBQ
1st – Two Crackers Cookin’
2nd – Shaken-Baken
3rd – Smoke Meat Everyday
1st – Big Red BBQ
2nd – Quid Pro Q
3rd – Jurassic Bark BBQ
1 st – Bahr’s Smokin’ Butts
2nd – Coleman’s BBQ
3rd – Wicked Oak BBQ


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