Arizona BBQ Festival returns to Salt River Fields

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The 5th Annual Arizona BBQ Festival returns to Salt River Fields, Saturday, April 5, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., delivering the "Biggest Honky Tonk in Town."

In addition to more than 25 top barbecue purveyors, guests will enjoy:

BACON ZONE. Local restaurant favorites serve bacon culinary creations in hopes of earning Best Bacon Dish, voted by guests. The diverse participant list includes: Pig & Pickle, Oink Cafe, Over Easy, Crepe Bar, Hacienda's Mexican Grill, Chart House, Harley's Italian Bistro and Traveling Monk food truck. Restaurant entry fees are donated to the Action Jackson Dupps Cancer Fund, benefiting a child fighting kidney cancer.

REDNECK GAMES ARENA. Wildly popular last year, the Redneck Games Arena will again host popular contests that are free to enter. Contests include: arm wrestling, watermelon seed spitting, bobbing for pig's feet, keg rolling, beer pong and toilet seat horseshoes.
MUSIC. Six bands and four DJs.

VIP. This exclusive area offers 300 lucky ticket holders unlimited hors d'oeuvres from Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, Uncle Bear's Grill & Tap & Uncle Bear's Brewhouse Grill, 180Q Food Truck and The Gelato Spot. Tickets also include six drinks from the Uncle Bear's bar, private bathrooms and shaded seating.

WRESTLING. New this year, the International Wrestling Federation will take to the ropes and fly, punch, drop kick and whatever else takes place during these men of mayhem's sporadic 20- to 30-minute shows. Also, catch the Back Porch Pickers as they perform an impromptu set in the wrestling ring at 2 p.m.

BARS. Catch Chandler favorite, Bourbon Jacks, near the main stage; the brand new Stadium Sports Grill in the Bacon Zone; Coach's Corner Grill in the Redneck Arena; and Uncle Bear's by the VIP area. The biggest bar will be operated by the team at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Scottsdale. This huge tent will surely be a party unto itself. Also, festival organizers are setting up a Spiked Lemonade Party Tent, where attendees can mix and match various flavors of Little Black Dress vodka with lemonades, sweet teas and even snow cones!

CHEF DEMONSTRATIONS. A curious chef can make a delicious dish out of just about anything; these demos make all guests a little more creative in the kitchen! Blue Hound Kitchen's Chef Stephen Jones shares tips to make great frog legs. Bootleggers chef James Fox will teach you how to cook delicious 'gator. The Sub-Zero/Wolf-sponsored tent displays some of the most outlandish cooking demonstrations Arizona has to offer.

AND OF COURSE, BBQ! Vendors include the insanely popular Little Miss BBQ, Honey Bears, Piggly's, Tom's BBQ, Whiskey Ranch, Sally's, Steel City BBQ, Montana BBQ, Ragin' Cajun and many more.

KIDS' ZONE. There also will be a Kid's Zone (additional fees may apply).

Tickets. $12 GA (FREE parking made possible by Discount Cab); kids 12 and under, FREE; $60 advance VIP, $75 at the gate.