SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The 5th Annual 2023 Santa Maria BBQ Festival Brought out BBQ lovers from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County.
The Santa Maria BBQ Festival fired up local grillers for a friendly BBQ competition.
“What sets this barbecue apart.. everybody always says you have the best seasoning for baby back ribs," said J-ROCC Entertainment BBQ crew member Adrian Flores.
Locals voted for their favorite backyard BBQ.
“I need to know the best from the Central Coast. Yes. And that's what I'm here for because I want to try everybody's style," said Santa Maria local Christopher Andrade.
Pro-division competitors cooked up three types of meat for judges to choose the best taste.
“Our love of barbecue, where Santa Maria barbecue originated. And right here, you're going to have the best of the best, because we are Santa Maria," said JT Fabrications BBQ member Wesley Sullins.
The smell of slow-cooked tri-tip, burning oak, and baby back ribs filled Pioneer Park.
“It really puts us on the map and Santa Maria style barbecue is something that needs that notoriety," said Santa Maria BBQ Festival Organizer Jaime Flores.
Flores said the festival is all about delicious BBQ, cold drinks, and live music, topped with a good cause.
“Plus, this is a great fundraiser. Money goes back to the kids in the community and that's really what it's about," said Flores.
Tri-tip competitor Joseph Janson creator of "BBQ Babes," said their winnings will be given back to the community.
“We are about giving back. So if we win today, we are going to donate our barbecue that we would win back to the food on the kids," said Janson.
Janson said BBQ is in his blood, his grandfather opened the famous Swiss Chalet in Santa Maria.
“We hope that everybody can see awareness of the festival and hopefully it gets bigger over the years," said Janson.
The winner is still to be announced.