Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle celebrates its 30th

For the past 30 years, tens of thousands of people have flocked to the nation’s capital to celebrate the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, one of the largest and most unique food and music festivals in the country. This year’s festival will take place Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26.

Stretching the length of Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd & 7th Streets, NW, the festival will be the epicenter of BBQ perfection, bringing together delicious BBQ, delectable summer specialties, exciting competitions, popular bands, celebrity chefs & more.

“We’re thrilled to bring together food and music lovers in our nation’s capital to enjoy and celebrate the 30th year of this dynamic event,” said Ralph Morton, senior vice president and managing director, Sports & Entertainment Division at Events DC. “The addition of world-class performers, from both the District and across the country, truly makes the Giant National BBQ Battle one of the summer’s most anticipated events.”

Attendees should plan to arrive hungry as the event offers plenty of free BBQ and food samples. Popular BBQ Restaurants and specialty vendors from around the country like Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ Restaurant will also be showcased and serving up delicious BBQ chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket to order. For some international flair, new this year is “With Smoke and Spice from the UAE” featuring Master BBQ Chef Hattem Master BBQ “Pitmaster”.

To quench everyone’s thirst, the event offers lots of summertime favorites and popular non-alcoholic Pepsi Products. You can sample Fine Wines and Micro-Brews in the Giant® Corks to Caps “tasting” Tent, ENJOY your favorite Beer or Hard Seltzer in the Budweiser Beverage Garden, RELAX at Claffey’s Cocktails Chillax Beach – a virtual oasis where you can chill and sip your favorite Claffey’s Cocktails – along with Q Tonics Mixology Station.

This year’s entertainment highlights include American Authors, Matt Stell, DJ Stakz, Sam Grow, USO Show Troupe, and much more on the Monster Energy Stage; Vertical Horizon, Jordy, Trevor Daniel, See-I, The Nighthawks, Bad Influence, and more on the Pepsi Stronger Together Stage; and EU featuring Sugarbear, Chuck Brown Band, Bela Dona, BackYard Band, DJ Rico, DJ Shablast and others on the Pepsi-Lay’s Sound Stage.

In addition, BBQ cooking demonstrations, celebrity appearances, and an array of unique exhibits and activities round out a weekend of fun. Special attractions include the beloved Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, Planters Nutmobile, kid’s activities in the Giant Chill Zone, and more. There will also be plenty of summer sports action from the Washington Commanders along with the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Mystics in the Monumental Sports Zone.

Tickets to Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle start at $15 and can be purchased in advance at or at the festival. Having raised millions of dollars for area charities, this year’s event benefits the USO Metro, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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