20th Annual Barbecue Battle in Northwest is a Total Meat Market

18th Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle

Smoking is permitted: The VIP Weekend Pass nets you a 20th Anniversary BBQ Apron, a goodie bag, access to the VIP area and — here’s the tasty bit — unlimited food and beverages for the whole weekend. (Jeff Kubina via Flickr)

One thing about my, er, the ApartmentShowcase.com blog is that you can’t say I don’t highlight quite a diverse slate of things for D.C.-area renters to do.

Here, I’m telling you about a pretty unique event for lovers of tasty grilled meats (and with apologies to my vegan friends, I know you’re out there), the 20th Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle, which is taking place June 23-24 on Pennsylvania Avenue (between 9th and 14th streets).

This is much more than a bunch of people grilling barbecue for prizes though. This is a full-on outdoor extravaganza. There will of course be food, including the Safeway Sampling Pavilion, which will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., offering free samples while supplies last.

You can also buy barbecue (and a few other types of cuisine) from local restaurants at the festival, that and beer and wine.

[ Related: Good Food, Drinks Await at the Smoke and Barrel in Adams Morgan ]

There will be music, a whopping 30 bands on three stages, which will run the gamut from rock, jazz, R&B and blues. Better yet, you might strike some “Black Gold.” The stage will also host celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and talent shows. No word yet on whether Porky Pig will be participating – or protesting the event, which he probably should.

There will also be a slew of contests, including America’s National Barbecue Championship. Here is a list of last year’s winners.

According to their site, this festival has been feted by everyone from CNN, the Travel Channel and Saveur magazine. While not endeavoring to save the world, and certainly not bovine or hoofed creatures, this event will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

Ticket prices vary slightly. If you purchase them online by June 22 (right up until 11:59 p.m.), admission for adults is $12 (plus a small service charge), $5 for kids aged 6-12 (plus a small service charge), while those five and under get in for free. At the gate, it’s $15 (kids’ prices stay the same).

There are also two-day passes for 20 smackers and a VIP Weekend Pass. That latter pass costs 95 bucks, but it comes with some goodies. It better, with that markup.

[ Related: Dupont Circle’s Ruth’s Chris a Prime Choice for Steak Lovers ]

Festival hours are Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Along with Safeway, there are a bunch of other sponsors as well, including Famous Dave’s and Pepsi.

If you’re a barbecue lover or just a curious Northwest-area resident who loves festivals, this would be a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday in late June.

The Federal Triangle stop on the Metro’s Blue/Orange Line puts you right in the middle of the pork and beef miasma. Don’t tell us we never give you anything to do in the city. Find your next apartment in the area with Apartment Showcase. 

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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