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America’s Top BBQ Event in the Nation’s Capital

You don’t need an elaborate travel search to see why Washington D.C. is a top travel destination in the Northeastern United States. The city is home to historical monuments, a wide seleciton of museums, and top tier accommodations for all budgets. The city is comprised of distinct neighborhoods, each offering a unique collection of activities, architectural styles, and attractions. All visitors should stop by the National Mall which features the Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington Monument, and more.


The Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle has been at the top of East Coast BBQ events for the past 25 years, and it will take place June 24-25. The Battle consists of more than 30 teams going head to head in competitions including Giant National BBQ Championship, Perdue Sizzlin’ Chicken Contest, Smithfield Rib Championship, National Pork BBQ Championship, Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest, and Military Chefs Cook-Off. The event features more than 30 live music acts, performing everything from rock to go-go music. The Battle also features a series of unique exhibits like the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and Johnsonville Big Taste Grill.  Guests can sample the competition foods at The Taste of Giant Sampling Pavilion, and learn from chefs at the Savory Cooking Demonstration Stage. A portion of the event's proceeds goes to the USO of Metropolitan Washington and The Capital Area Food Bank. We got the chance to interview Meghan Mercer, a representative of the event, to learn about this extensive BBQ experience.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

MM: This is our 25th Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?  

MM: We see residents come from the Greater Washington area and throughout the East Coast. We are a family-friendly event, but attract anyone who loves live music, cooking demonstrations, interactive exhibits, and of course, BBQ!


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MM: What makes the National Capital BBQ Battle unique is our wide variety of entertainment. We’re so much more than a BBQ competition. (One of Five Can’t Miss Summer Festivals in the Country” by CNN, “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 American Bus Association). This exciting event offers Washington D.C. area residents and visitors a two-day lineup of everything from tempting BBQ & Grilled food samples to cooking demonstrations, interactive exhibits and non-stop live entertainment on three music stages.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

MM: We have attractions, exhibits, celebrity appearances, and cooking demonstrations. For more details, please follow the link.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

MM: There will be some great guests this year such as Jason 'Wee Man’ Acuña, Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Cowboy Mouth, and Marcus Johnson.


RAL: What will attendees find for dining options?  

MM: We have Famous Dave's, Old Glory BBQ, Sabra samples, and more. Please navigate to our food tab to find participating restaurants, brands contributing free samples, and food vendors.  


RAL: What is the environment like?

MM: We aim to provide an atmosphere that’s family-friendly, exciting, and entertaining.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

MM: Our event benefits The Capital Area Food Bank and USO of Metropolitan Washington.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

MM: The Giant National Capital BBQ Battle offers people a chance to enjoy delicious food, live music, and learn more about the art of BBQ in the heart of D.C.


For more information about the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, please visit the event website.