The Plant City Pig Jam returned last weekend for their 19th year.
The Plant City Pig Jam returned this past weekend, with 61 teams competing between the professional Master division and amateur Backyard division to see who brought the best product to the table, no pun intended.
This was the 18th Pig Jam Plant City has hosted over the past 19 years, with COVID-19 forcing the event to be cancelled in 2020.
“It was wonderful, it was great to see it again,” Pig Jam co-chair Jodi Stevens said. “A lot of those teams are repeating teams so they become our friends and we see them once each year. So it was great to see them and to have them back in town.”
The annual event brings barbecue masters to Plant City from across the country every year, with this year seeing participating teams come from as far as Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee and 10 teams coming from right here in Plant City. Hosted by the Plant City Chamber of Commerce and sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, teams in both divisions have to opportunity to compete for best chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket, judged by a panel of 70 judges and table captains with nearly 4,000 combined contests judged.
The Chamber also uses money raised from the event to fund local scholarships.
The highest overall scores in both divisions came from Florida, with Kings BBQ taking the crown in the Master Series and Tampa’s Wicked Oak BarbeQue earning the top spot in the Backyard Series.
As for the local competitors? BACKMAN BBQ was the top-ranking team from Plant City in the Master Series at 21st, BBQmyway was the top-ranking team from Plant City in the Backyard Series at ninth and Smokin’ Aces earned the award for best dessert overall.
Did you miss Pig Jam but want to make it out to another KCBS sanctioned event? The Lakeland Pigfest will be here before you know it on Jan. 28 and 29 at the SUN n’ FUN Expo Campus, 4175 Medulla Rd., Lakeland, FL 33811.
“I think it’s amazing,” Stevens said. “It brings people to our town and we want to showcase what Plant City is about. We have the Strawberry Festival and that’s wonderful but we also have events like this. Any time you bring people to our town, I think it’s a bonus… We’ve been doing it for a long time, we love this event and think that it’s good for our city and we just want to see it continue to grow.”