Plant City, FL Barbecue: 7th Annual Plant City Pig Jam BBQ Competition

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the Seventh Annual Plant City Pig Jam State BBQ Championship on Saturday, November 21. It takes place at the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This year’s event will also include professional, amateur and kids’ barbecue competitions. Plus, there will be live entertainment, a rock-climbing wall, moon walks and other activities, and snow-cones, cookies and other refreshments will be available.

Admission is free; parking is $5 per vehicle.

If you’re planning on being anywhere within driving distance – heck – flying distance – around November 21, 2009 – then you need to get over to this year’s Plant City, Florida 7th Annual Pig Jam – a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) Sanctioned Championship State Barbecue Competition you don’t want to miss!

Plant City Pig Jam 2009

From the Plant City Pig Jam Facebook Page

Do you make the best BBQ? If you think you do, or if you just like to eat great BBQ, come to the 6th Annual Plant City Pig Jam State BBQ Championship, brought to you by the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce.

Individuals will compete in the professional, amateurs and kids’ barbecue competition Saturday, November 21st at the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex, 1900 South Park Rd/1401 Albertsons Drive. The general public has the opportunity to sample some of the best BBQ in the country!

Pig Jam has been sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS).

For entry information and rules and regulations governing each of the three categories (professional, amateur and kids), contact Plant City Chamber of Commerce 813-754-3707.

Prizes will be awarded in each category with professionals vying for the $3,000 Grand Champion Award, $2,000 for Reserve and cash prizes through 10th place in each of the four food categories (BBQ Ribs, BBQ Port, Beef Brisket and Chicken). Prizes will also be awarded in the amateur and kids’ competitions.

Proceeds of the Pig Jam will benefit Plant City, Florida chamber programs.

Swamp Boys BBQ - Plant City Pig Jam 2008

The photo above was taken at the 2008 Plant City Pig Jam and shows the Winter Haven, Florida-based “Swamp Boys BBQ” Competitive Team Station.  These guys are local heroes here in Central Florida, as they were ranked 1st Overall in the National BBQ Rankings ending 2008!

Some History About the Plant City Pig Jam

From its beginnings in 2003, the Plant City Pig Jam State BBQ Championship has grown to become one of the most popular, colorful barbecue contests in the South.

More than 50 teams from across five states will get fired up about the November 21 hunt for trophies, cash prizes and the right to brag about cooking the planet’s best barbecue in the chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket divisions.

The Plant City contest carries the prestigious Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioning. KCBS is the largest sanctioning body for barbecue contests in the USA. With thousands of people expected to attend the seventh annual event, the Randy Larson Softball Complex on Park Road will be smokin’ Saturday, November 21.

Mark Poppell and Fred Williams – Founders of the Plant City Pig Jam Event

The idea to have a contest showcasing the region’s most beloved food is credited to Mark Poppell and Fred Williams. Fast friends and barbecue partners, Poppell and Williams had attended the 2001 Big Pig Jig in Vienna, Ga. At that time, Mark was on the Board of Directors for The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. After seeing what they had done in Vienna, a town of about 3000 residents, he enthusiastically brought the concept back to Florida, to do something like it here.

“There were 20,000 or so attendees at their event, then in its 20th year,” Poppell said. He couldn’t begin to imagine the interest his community of Plant City — with its location and resources — could generate for a barbecue competition and ancillary events.

“I threw out the barbecue contest idea and everyone jumped on it,” Poppell said. Jodi Smith and Chris Sparkman were named Pig Jam co-chairs, and the rest is history.

The winners earn trophies, prize money, bragging rights and the time of their lives.

“The winners will have mastered not only the intricacies of cooking great barbecue, but how to cope with weather and equipment issues, how to complete cooking at the required time, how to arrange the meat in the turn-in containers, and how to manage the challenges of having to do too much in too little time,” said Poppell who is also a KCBS member and certified judge.

For more information, to become a vendor at Plant City Pig Jam, or to find out about entering the competition or becoming a judge, log on to the Plant City Chamber web site.