If there is anything that the recent pandemic has taught us, it is it - 'Live like there's no tomorrow!'. Barbecue festivals embody the same spirit and now that the world is a free place again, here are the top 10 grill festivals in the world which you definitely need to tick off your bucket lists!
The Great Montreal Ribfest
A perfect weekend getaway to cap off the summer heat, this festival is hosted by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island and has free admission. It has the ambience of a huge street party with six professional pits, live music and a play zone for kids. A perfect destination for all rib lovers, this festival is a go-to if you're in Canada and don't want to look too far to experience some amazing grilling chops.
The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Festival
According to Guinness World Records, Memphis hosts the largest pork barbeque festival in the world. This fantastic three-day event has top of the line class ribs, chicken, New York steak, tacos and so much more. If you aspire to be a culinary professional then you can also participate in a Junior World Championship to win a scholarship to Paul Smiths College.
Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival
This festival happens on Virginia Beach, giving you the opportunity to experiment with as many combinations of bbqs and brews that you want. It has special events such as the Tasting Theatre and Shrine of Swine for you to enjoy. It is hosted at the Hunt Club Farm, which is family owned and has livestock and pets, making it an extremely family friendly event.
Rhythm and Ribs BBQ festival
Two things they get absolutely right in Georgia - Southern barbecue and live music - are beautifully blended in this festival. Held at Tifton, Georgia, this festival hosts a BBQ competition which is open to both the amateurs and the pitmasters. Moreover, there's enthralling live music throughout the festival along with many vendors with their stalls of regional art and craft, fishing and hunting equipment and local delicacies.
Smoke and Fire BBQ festival
One of the UK's biggest barbecue festivals, it's going to be held in Colchester this year in August. One of the highlights of the festival is going to be the 'British Open BBQ Championship', a thrilling one-off national free-style competition As you can imagine, it's going to get heated! But to cool the heat, they also have live music performances of varied styles like Blues, Cajun, Soul, Rock n Roll and of course… Country!
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also called RodeoHouston, is the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world. It is held in the NSG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Being the city's signature event, it is one of the richest regular-season professional rodeo events. The event is 20 days long and includes the 'Bar-B-Que Contest' which has a history of being one of the largest BBQ Championships since 1973. The highlight is also the plethora of famous celebrities who perform at the event like Rihanna, Beyonce and Bob Dylan, just to name a few.
The Kitami Extreme Cold Yakiniku Festival
This is the coldest BBQ festival in the world. Held annually in February in Japan's extreme north regions, it is a one day festival where over 2000 people gather outdoors in below zero temperatures to grill Kitami’s famous pork short rib cuts called Karubi and other meat like wagyu, horumon and sausages. The tickets sell out fast so you might have to book well in advance but it promises a one of a kind experience for the travel and adrenaline junkie in you.
Barbecue festival of Armenia
Being held for the 10th year in a row in the captivating region of Lori, the venue of this festival is the breathtaking Akhtala fortress-monastery whose walls are adorned with beautiful frescoes. Chefs from all across the world compete to bring the best khotovats (Armenian barbecue) with the best flavour, look and concept to your table. So head over to Armenia for a barbecue unlike any you would have ever eaten.
The Barbecue Festival, Lexington
Fun fact : there is a distinctive local style of barbecue called the Lexington style.
In this festival which upholds this tradition and style of barbecue, you can expect to find an antique themed car show, a golf tournament, 50 ton Pig-themed sand sculptures and a unique cycling race known as the 'Tour de Pig'. So there's a party for you - eat and grill Lexington style!
Wine Country Big Q
This one is specially for all the wine connoisseurs who know how well barbecue goes with wine! Held in Sonoma County, Petaluma, California, this festival focuses as much on the pairing of wine and spirits as much as it does on the barbecue. The sides to the barbecue are also delicious and they all come together to provide a fine, tasteful experience.
So here's your chance to combine your love for food and travel and create the best experiences of your life… all with a grill blazing hot and fabulous adventures awaiting you in these wonderful locations!
Reach out to Pollocks BBQs, the top barbecue store in Toronto, for all your barbecue needs.