Everyone knows Chandler’s Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival, slated for Saturday, draws top pit masters from across the nation to serve more than 20,000 pounds of meat to the masses. Here are a few more facts to help prepare you for the feast — er, fest:
• The list of meat is mouthwatering: Smoked tri-tip, skirt steak, brisket, chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, brats, wings and more. Fixings include beans, coleslaw, grilled corn, collard greens, green chile cheese fries and mac-n-cheese.
• The booze isn’t too shabby, either: SanTan Brewing Company will pour from 200 kegs of cold craft beer, and lauch their 2014 summer seasonal, Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer. There’s also whiskey from Bulleit Bourbon and Dickel Bourbon.
• Aside from barbecue, food vendors scheduled to attend include Pea & Pa’s Kettle Corn, Frost Gelato, Paletas Betty, Sugarlips Cakery, Rita’s Italian Ice, and Wyly Foods with deep-fried oreos, pickles, cheese, funnel cakes and ribbon fries.
• The entertainment: Grammy Award-winning band, Blues Traveler headlines at 8 p.m. Opening for the band are Craig Campbell, Laura Walsh and Georgia Chrome.
• The contests: Hungry patrons can sign up for four eating challenges — the Von Hanson’s Meats & Spirits brat eating contest (3 p.m.), Hungry Monk’s wing eating contest (4 p.m.), Tastebuds pie eating contest (5 p.m.), and Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ rib eating contest (6 p.m.). Contestants must sign up at each sponsor’s booth at least 30 minutes prior to the contest. One winner in each category will win a $100 gift card.
• A portion of event proceeds will benefit the Boot Campaign, a nonprofit that assists wounded military personnel and their families with job placement and securing mortgage-free homes, post traumatic stress disorder counseling, adaptive clothing and more. Check it out at BootCampaign.com.
IF YOU GO
What: Great American Barbeque and Beer Festival
When: Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 22
Where: Downtown Chandler, Dr. A. J. Chandler Park, 3 South Arizona Ave.
Cost: General admission tickets are $10 and include entry into the event. Food and beverages are sold separately. Children 12 and younger get in free.