Incorporated in 1885, Plant City is located in Central Florida. With an estimated 33,500 residents living within the city limits as of 2011, the city has strived to keep its hometown charm. Plant City sponsors two large seasonal festivals each year. While the widely publicized Florida Strawberry Festival in the late winter is perhaps better known, the Pig Jam in the fall draws in people from all over the state. This one-day event celebrates music and barbecue and is the city's only fall festival.
Location and Admission
The Pig Jam takes place at the Randy Larson Softball FourPlex Stadium (no website; 1500 South Park Road, Plant City; 813-659-4255). Typically, the festival occurs in late November and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Admission to the festival is free, though driving guests may need to pay for parking.
Perhaps the main event at the Pig Jam is the annual barbecue competition. Here the city encourages backyard grillers of all skill levels to compete for the title of Pig Jam State Barbecue Champion and cash prizes of up to $3,000. The festival hosts three different competitions for professionals, amateurs and kids, in categories of ribs, pork, beef brisket and chicken. The city also welcomes spectators to the event, particularly those wishing to sample the many barbecue flavors cooked up by some of the best barbecue chefs in the nation.
Another big part of the Pig Jam festival is the live music. Bands play family-friendly music throughout the day, offering opportunities for festival-goers to get up and dance or just sit back and enjoy the tunes.
Besides barbecue and music, the festival offers vendor booths and activities for people of all ages. For adults, area taverns provide alcoholic beverages for sale. Children and teenagers can participate in active entertainment such as rock-climbing walls. The festival also offers snow cones, cookies and other treats for those looking for something sweet to eat.
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