The Indio California State BBQ Championship and Festival is returning to the desert November 12th. The festival drew almost 6,000 attendees to a successful inaugural event last year. Festival organizers see continued growth for an event that has broad appeal in the desert. The festival will again be free to attend and open to the public.
The BBQ State Championship & Festival is a sanctioned event, judged by certified KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) judges with points awarded towards a coveted Californian State Title. Last year the event drew thirty-four professional Pitmasters from across the United States to compete for $10,000 in prize money. Competitors compete in a variety of categories, including brisket, ribs, and chicken, all leading to the coveted title of Grand Champion.
Iowa’s Smokey Ds, led by Pitmaster Daren Warth, was the 2015 Grand Champion and will return this year to defend his championship. Widely regarded as one of the finest Pitmasters in the world, Daren has won the Jack Daniels World Championship BBQ Competition, the American Royal BBQ World Championship Competition, and the Kingsford Invitational. This year he will be competing against an even larger field, with close to 50 Pitmasters expected.
“We were able to draw a world-class field last year” said Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce President Joshua Bonner. “We felt the real winner of the contest was the attendees, they got to sample BBQ from some of the best Pitmasters around.” A fan favorite at the festival, many of the competing teams will also sell their BBQ to the public. Plates range in cost from $5 to $8, keeping the event affordable and family friendly.
The BBQ Festival will again serve as one of the kick-off events for Coachella Valley Beer Week. CV Beer Week celebrates the emerging craft beer scene in the Coachella Valley, giving local breweries a chance to showcase their products. Last year the beer tent served a wide variety of craft beer selections, including a local favorite from the La Quinta Brewing Company.
The Festival will offer several activities for kids, making it an event for the whole family to enjoy. Included in this year’s entertainment will be bouncy houses, roaming entertainment, train rides and a wild west show. The activities are all part of a festival tradition in Indio per Mayor Glenn Miller. “This is yet another great event our city offers to the valley,” says the Mayor, “Indio has become internationally known as the City of Festivals, the State Championship BBQ Festival is yet another example of Indio earning that distinction.”
The BBQ State Championship and Festival is hosted by The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of Indio. The event is presented by Title Sponsor Chandi Group USA/Arco AMPM, and Presenting Sponsors Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, and the Indio Water Authority. Media Sponsors include Alpha Media, Lamar Outdoor and CBS Local 2.
The family friendly festival will be open from 10 AM – 5 PM, on Saturday, November 12th. The event will be held at The Lights at Indio Golf Course located at 83040 Ave 42, Indio. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
For additional information, you can visit IndioBBQFestival.com, or contact The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce at 760.347.0676.