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Pigz in Z’hills offers World-class Barbecue and Blues January 19

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on January 9, 2019

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce proudly invites BBQ and Blues enthusiasts to drive-in or fly-in to the 9th Annual Pigz In Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival held at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, located at 5200 Airport Road in Zephyrhills, on January 19th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is Free with $10 Parking.

The Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ and Blues Festival has come a long way in the 9 years since its inception. 2018’s attendance exceeded 12,000 and with the addition of a cornhole tournament more enthusiasts are expected to visit Z’hills this year!

Enjoy a Florida BBQ Association-approved Competition

This fun festival features a Florida BBQ Association-approved barbecue competition. About 60 competition teams, both professional and backyard, are expected to compete 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.

Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival has distinguished itself as a qualifier for three prestigious championship contests:  The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg Tennessee, 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.

The Advent Health Stage will be alive from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an impressive line-up of blues music. This year’s headliner is Damon Fowler who will be performing at 4:30 pm

Damon Fowler heads the Blues Acts

The Advent Health Stage will be alive from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an impressive line-up of blues music including headliner Damon Fowler, as well as the Bird Tribe, Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band, the Ellie Lee Band, and the Dave Shepard Band.

Damon Fowler will be onstage at 4:30 pm. Damon is a Florida native. On the strength of his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, the Florida native started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. Billboard notes that “He’s a formidable slide guitar player and has also mastered lap steel and dobro as well as electric guitar…”.

The Bird Tribe will be onstage at 3:00 pm.  Each member of the Bird Tribe contributes to the group’s unique expansive sound which is lyrically poetic with a mixture of heave groove, Rock, Soul, and an experimental feel.

Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band features Chuck Riley on bass, accompanied by an assortment of fabulous local talent. This blues revue is one of the favorites each year and always electrify our stage!  Their powerful blend of R&B with soul and blues never fails to bring the house down. This eclectic band will perform at 1:30 pm.

The Ellie Lee Band will make their way to our stage at 12:00 pm.  Winner of numerous awards, the Ellie Lee Band is an exciting blues rock group with a dynamic on-stage performance.  Ellie fronts the band with her soulful voice, ripping guitar solos and her obvious joy in performing.

Dave Shephard and the Blues Riders will start off this amazing day of music at 10:30 am.  This band’s powerful grooves, vocal harmonies and instrumental excursions have captured the souls of blues lovers around the state. They have been featured on WMNF radio and have opened for national acts like Pat Travers and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Bleachers are available but please bring your lawn chairs for at-home comfort!

At 6 p.m. the barbecue competition winners will be announced.

Under the direction of Ryan Schwartzkoph of the Tampa Bay Cornhole Organization, the 2-player team – double elimination tournament will feature two divisions: ‘Well-Seasoned Division’ for more skilled competitors, and the ‘Still-Marinating Division’ is available for recreational competitors.

Join the Cornhole Tournament

A Cornhole Tournament sponsored by Advent Health Zephyrhills begins this year. The constest will include 2-player team double elimination tournaments with two divisions:

  • The ‘Well-Seasoned Division’ for more skilled competitors is $40 per team, and will have a total payout of $500 as well as 1, 2nd & 3rd place trophies and will begin at 12:00 p.m.
  • The ‘Still-Marinating Division’ is available for recreational competitors and cost $20 per team. Prizes will include trophies and BBQ swag bags full of goodies and will begin at 3:00 p.m.

Zephyrhills Chamber Director Melonie Monson states: “We are thrilled to be adding this tournament to our already successful BBQ event and there is a lot of enthusiasm from locals. More than 12,000 attended Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival last year and we expect this cornhole tournament will add even more who will be excited to come spend the day in Zephyrhills.”

Pre-registration for both divisions will include a parking pass which will offset the $10 event parking.

Kidz Zone, Car Show, Business Expo & Aviation Showcase add to the Fun

In addition to the barbecue competition and live blues music, the Kidz Zone will entertain with face painting, arts & crafts, and games. You can also enjoy the Show-N-Shine Car Show, Aviation Showcase and the Business Expo as part of the Pigz in Z’Hills event.

The Zephyrhills Museum of Military History located across the street will be open for visitors to enjoy this impressive and unique collection of memorabilia and information.

Don’t miss the Zephyrhills Military Museum

The Zephyrhills Museum of Military History located across the street will be open for visitors to enjoy this impressive and unique collection of memorabilia and information.

Zephyrhills Community benefits from Funds Raised

Pigz in Z’Hills has helped The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce to provide $24,000 in scholarships for local Zephyrhills area students in the 9 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.

Pigz in Z’Hills Blues & BBQ’s 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.

Donate Blood and visit Sponsors

The OneBlood, Blood Mobile will be on site once again.  All donors will receive 5 Pig Bucks and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, and cholesterol screening!

The Festival is presented by the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and is a Visit Florida event in partnership with the City of Zephyrhills and Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, AVCON, Suncoast Credit Union Advent Health Zephyrhills, O’Reilly Auto Parts, PuroClean, Sonny’s BBQ, CenterState Bank, Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, Jarrett Ford, TBA|BEARCOM, Culvers of Zephyrhills, Duke Energy, Edward Jones, Kelly’s Portable Restrooms, Kimley-Horn & Associates, Pepin, TECO/Peoples Gas, and West Coast Rental. Advertising Partners include: The Laker/Lutz News, Pasco News Publications, Tampa Bay Times, and Tampa Type & Print.

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