Lakeland Pigfest 2015

Filed under: Florida Events,Florida News,Just For Fun,Restaurant,Vacation Tips |

Lakeland Pigfest 2014 - 30 January 2015 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

On this web site we often talk about some of the more popular things going on in Florida and in particular, Central Florida. We also love to bring you news of some of the off the beat events taking place and today we’re talking about “Pigfest” that takes place in Lakeland.

The seeds for the Lakeland Pig Festival were first planted in 1994 when a small group of local businessmen, vacationing in North Carolina, attended a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned barbeque championship in Tryon, North Carolina. As interest grew in the community, then Governor Lawton Chiles signed a request for the formal sanctioning of the Lakeland Pig Festival as a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) State Championship on On November 19,1996. Finally, a date was set to bring a barbeque championship to Lakeland, and on March 21, 1997 the Lakeland Pig Festival was born.

In the beginning, the goals of the Lakeland Pig Festival were pretty simple:

▪ Raise money for local charitable organizations;
▪ Create an relaxing event for all walks of life;
▪ Eat some world-class barbeque!

Lakeland Pigfest 2014 - 30 January 2015 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

As with any new contest, there were several years of trial and error trying to find the perfect “recipe” for success. During these early years, the contest was held in March or April; however, in 2000 a decision was made to move the contest to late-January. Each successive year has brought more contestants and greater attendance but nothing has been possible without the dedication of community volunteers.

In 2004, a Kids-Q Contest was added, and immediately became a permanent part of the event and thenin 2008, Pigfest was expanded to include Friday evening activities. With the addition of live music and entertainment, fun food competition, and BBQ vending, the event continues to be a great success. To date, the Lakeland Pig Festival has contributed nearly $500,000 to local charities and is recognized nationally as one of the best Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) BBQ events in the country.

Lakeland Pigfest 2014 - 30 January 2015 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The mission of the Lakeland Pig Festival, Inc. is to continue to promote and improve the event as it has since it’s beginning, so that it is enjoyed by the participants and our community and serves the charitable organizations of the greater Lakeland area and we are proud to report that this mission continues to be met!

So it was with that background that we visited the 19th Annnual Pigfest! Over 150 competition barbecue teams took part in the weekend’s events of good eatin’, good friends, and good tunes.It was a lot of fun!

If you find yourself in Central Florida in January, make sure you make the short journey to the event. You can even bring some fabulous grub back to your vacation home to enjoy poolside and create your own mini-version of “Pigfest.”

Lakeland Pigfest 2014 - 30 January 2015 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

More photos from the event can be seen at and we really don’t need to say anymore. The photos show how much fun the event is!

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