ZEPHYRHILLS — The Pigz in Z’hills BBQ & Blues Fest begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.
The sixth annual festival centers around barbecue competitions for professional and backyard barbecue chefs. It is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association and features an $8,000 purse, mostly for professional competitors who compete for top honors in four savory categories: chicken, pork, brisket and ribs.
There will be live blues music throughout the day performed by Coldiron, Wendy Rich & The Soulshakers, the R.J. Howson Band and Damon Fowler.
The airport is at 39450 South Ave. in Zephyrhills. Admission is free, but parking costs $10 per vehicle. The airport also offers a fly-in option for private pilots.
Limited bleachers seating is available, but festivalgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Coolers and pets are not allowed.
The festival ends at 6 p.m.
Barbecue vendors and other concessions, including a beer truck, will be featured. The official currency for BBQ and Blues is Pigz Bucks. One Pigz Buck is equal to $1 and they can be purchased at marked booths.
The YMCA family fun zone will entertain children with face painting, arts and crafts, games and rides. In addition to barbecue and blues music, visitors can enjoy a business expo, the Show & Shine car show, the WWII Museum of Military History and Zephyrhills Municipal Airport aviation displays. The OneBlood bloodmobile will be on site. Donors will receive five Pigz Bucks and other gifts.
In six years, Pigz In Z’hills BBQ & Blues has grown in size and popularity, drawing about 8,000 visitors last year. It has earned a spot as a qualifier for three prestigious championship contests: the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational, which takes place this month at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.
Pigz in Z’hills benefits local youth, education and community programs.
For more information, visit www.zeph yrhillsChamber.org, call (813) 782-1913 or visit the chamber’s Facebook page.