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BBQ Festivals 2024 - 2025 Calendar


BBQ Festivals, Cook-offs & Contests

Ok, this is the part of Everfest where you have to listen to us tell you how awesome Texas BBQ is. You see, we are in Austin, TX, and the barbecue here is second to none. Now, with that in mind, we have curated for you a calendar of all the BBQ festivals, cook-offs and contests out there, and we do recommend you try to hit them all. BBQ is a science, and there are different approaches, such that Kansas City BBQ and Texas BBQ are really like different disciplines, and it's hardly fair to compare them (though you know our preference). I can't imagine you've made it this far without running out of your house looking for delicious smoked meats, but if you make it to some of these feasts, we hope to see you there!

Top BBQ Festivals

Memphis in May World Championship
Memphis, TN
A world-renowned international festival, Memphis in May also sets aside some time to do what the city knows best: making unbelievable barbecue. Teams whip up their most flavorful recipes, the fans pig out, and a world champion comes out on top.

American Royal World Series of Barbecue
Kansas City, MO
The world’s largest barbecue competition ain’t blowing smoke. Follow your taste buds to Kansas City for lip-smacking barbecue, exquisite cocktails, live entertainment including carnival rides and mechanical bull riding, and much more throughout Labor Day weekend.

Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle
Washington, DC
You can never go wrong with a barbecue battle in the nation’s capital. In Washington, DC, this finger-licking festival during the summer boasts fierce competition between pitmasters, live music across three stages, cook demonstrations and much more.

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Multiple locations
The three most delicious B’s in the English language take a lengthy road trip around the U.S. to share dozens of craft beers, nearly 50 bourbons and tons of barbecue. Pick a city somewhere on the map and this party will likely roll through.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
New York, NY
What, you thought good barbecue can only be found in the South? Take a trip to Manhattan and you’ll find some of the tastiest barbecue this side of the Mississippi. The smell of smoked meat draws more than a hundred thousand to the Heart of New York City for mouthwatering barbecue, adult beverages and unforgettable views of the city.

World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off
Brady, TX
You can’t have a Top-10 barbecue list without big ole Texas in the mix. This long-running competition takes place every Labor Day weekend to determine the best-tasting goat meat in the world. There’s a lot of good eating to be done in Brady, Texas.

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
Sparks, NV
Hungry? How does a quarter million pounds of ribs sound? Best in the West is a six-day feast featuring the best rib cookers in the country who compete for cash prizes and your taste buds. No matter what happens, you can bet on having a satisfied stomach.

Kentucky State BBQ Festival
Danville, KY
Kentucky’s got bourbon, jockeys and ridiculously flavorful barbecue. At this acclaimed festival, you’ll chow down on award-winning barbecue from celebrity pitmasters, indulge on local bourbon, and enjoy live music in historic Danville.

Atlanta BAR-B-Q Festival
Atlanta, GA
The Deep South is where you’ll find some of the tastiest barbecue. Atlanta’s top restaurants and pitmasters bring great flavor to the BAR-B-Q Festival, where you’ll stumble upon various styles of barbecue, bourbon samples and upbeat live music.

Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival
Bedford, TX
Nothing goes better together than smoking-hot barbecue and cool, bluesy riffs. In Bedford, Texas, teams whip up mouthwatering dishes and blues artists play smooth tunes for you to groove to. Life has never tasted nor sounded this good.

Hogs for the Cause
New Orleans, LA
At this finger-licking festival in New Orleans, you’ll pig out on all kinds of delicious barbecue recipes while raising money for families with children fighting brain cancer. Nearly one hundred regional barbecue masters compete in a heated cooking competition to determine the best, but it’s all about raising money for the cause.

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival
Austin, TX
Capital city Austin has delicious barbecue for days, so it makes that it hosts a wildly popular festival like this one. Dozens of local restaurants in Texas dish out their best barbecue recipes, and there’s plenty of live entertainment from some of the Lone Star State’s best musicians.

Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational BBQ
Lynchburg, TN
In Lynchburg, Tennessee, home of the famed whiskey distillery, you can score flavorful barbecue, watch friendly competition in 7 individual categories, jam to live music and more. And, of course, you can’t forget about the whiskey while you’re here.

International Bar-B-Q Festival
Owensboro, KY
The heavenly smell of smoked meat will lead you all the way to Owensboro, Kentucky, for the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Watch the competition heat up for the Governor’s Cup, try your hand at square dancing and enjoy some wholesome family fun.