The city of Surprise and Affordable Food Festivals, LLC, will throw the first Surprise BBQ Festival on March 3 next to Surprise Stadium.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on eight acres next to the spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Barbecue teams from around the country will compete.
“BBQ and baseball. It’ll be one all-American day,” said Mark Coronado, Surprise director of Community and Recreation Services.
The Surprise BBQ Festival is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and AFF is putting up $10,000 in prize money. “Baseball is America’s sport,” said AFF co-founder, Richard Phillips. “And barbecue is America’s cuisine. It’s a perfect match for a family-friendly day out.”
AFF founders are also planning to integrate a whiskey tasting experience, live bands, a kids’ zone and other attractions into the event. Spring training kicks off on March 4, and a scaled-back version of the event will remain on the lawn for opening day, organizers said.
The Surprise Recreation Complex is at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. General admission is $10 (free for children under 12); food samples are $2 each; beer, wine, and whiskey cocktails are $4-$10. Barbecue meals start at $6.