When the scent of blooming cherry blossoms fades into the hickory sweet aroma of mouth-watering BBQ, it’s time for the area’s tastiest summer celebration, the 25th Anniversary of the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle. Held on the first weekend of Summer, this mammoth festival plays homage to everything BBQ.

On June 24th and 25th, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue will once again transform into a festival of amazing sights, sounds, and aromas. This year’s Giant BBQ Battle will take place on both Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Ave, NW between 3rd and 7th Streets. The usual street noise will be replaced by the sounds of powerful vocals and soulful melodies from over 30 bands performing live Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, R&B and Go-Go throughout the weekend.

The Giant Barbecue Battle is one of the largest and most unique food and music festivals in the country and offers a chance to experience the thrill of competition BBQ at its best. Cooks from across the country compete for over $40,000 in cash and prizes. Barbecue legends like Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone from TV’s“BBQ Pit Masters Show” compete side-by-side with top BBQ Chefs and mom-and-pop teams for the coveted title of America’s National Barbecue Champion. Teams cook off in multiple cooking contests including The National Pork BBQ Championship sponsored by the National Pork Board, Perdue Sizzlin’ Chicken Contest, Smithfield BBQ Rib Contest and America’s Best BBQ Sauce. In 2017, military chefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will participate in a special Military Chef’s Contest to benefit the USO-Metro. This year’s event benefits both the USO-Metro and the Capital Area Food Bank. To date, the BBQ Battle has raised over 2 million dollars for these and other worthy District charities.

At the event, attendees can dig into flavorful plates of beef brisket, chicken, pork and lamb prepared by some of the best BBQ restaurants from across the country. Visitors will be offered plentiful free food samples throughout the event site from mini BBQ sandwiches, to all kinds of grilled foods, sides and treats in the Taste of Giant Sampling Pavilion, along with great regional fare sampled in the Giant Local Flavors Tent. To quench everyone’s thirst, the event will feature Heineken Beverage Gardens, Barefoot Beach Wine Sampling and a variety of popular non-alcoholic drinks.

Attendees will delight with unique exhibits & activities like the Johnsonville Big Taste “World’s Largest” Grill, the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest and lots more along with summer sports action from The Washington Wizards, Mystics, Valor, Nationals, Redskins and DC United. Other activities include cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, Taste of Giant Sampling Pavilion and much more.

The Giant BBQ Battle has received numerous awards and titles over the years including been named “One of Five Can’t Miss Summer Festivals in the Country” by CNN, a “Top 10 BBQ Event” by the Travel Channel, “One of America’s Best BBQ Competitions” by Saveur Magazine, and “An Event Worth Traveling to” by the American Bus Association.

The 2017 Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle is heating up to be the biggest & best yet, so block off the weekend of June 24th and 25th and prepare the whole family for DC’s Favorite Festival of feasting & fun!

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