Great American BBQ & Beer Festival 2017

Barbecue Festival and Family Entertainment in Chandler, Arizona

Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival in Arizona
••• Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival. Judy Hedding

The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival is not just another barbecue competition. It is a family festival in the streets of downtown Chandler where you can listen to music, have fun and enjoy great food and beer. About 100 exhibitors are expected to participate, including more than 60 BBQ vendors from across Arizona serving up more than 20,000 lbs of pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken. To wash it all down, more than 200 kegs of cold craft beer will be on hand at the Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival.

Bands will perform. A portion of event proceeds to benefit Boot Campaign, providing assistance to wounded military and their families.

See pictures from the Great American BBQ & Beer Festival.

When is The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival?

Saturday, March 25, 2017 from noon to 10 p.m.

Where is it?

In downtown Chandler. Arizona Avenue from Buffalo Street to Boston Street will be closed during the festival, and event activities will take place on both sides of Arizona Avenue. Here is a map.

This event is so popular that the space just keeps expanding every year!

How do I get tickets and how much are they?

General admission tickets are also available in advance online for $15 each and tickets will be $20 each at the gate. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted for free. 

Food and beverages are sold separately. Restaurants will be offering samples and tastings on a cash basis. Many will offer mini BBQ plates as well.

Corral Pass ($75) includes side stage access in a gated private zone, a souvenir bucket of beer, private restrooms, seating and snacks. 21+ only.

VIP passes ($175) include six alcoholic beverages, catered food, private seating and restrooms, front stage access, and shaded areas. 21+ only. 

What else?

  • This is a rain or shine event.
  • Thousands of people are expected to attend.
  • Live country music performers will entertain all day.
  • Cooking demonstrations.
  • There is a Kids' Zone and lawn games (some activities have an extra charge).
  • Want to eat your way to a prize? There will be eating contests for ribs, brats, wings, and pie. You can find entry forms online.
  • A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Boot Campaign, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing assistance to wounded military and their families with job placement and securing mortgage free homes, post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, adaptive clothing and more.

Things To Know Before You Go to the Great American BBQ & Beer Festival

  1. There is free parking all around downtown Chandler. If the municipal lot by the Library is full, try the lots on the west side of Arizona Avenue, south of Boston. You might also find parking at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
  2. The admission charge does not include any food or beverage. You will pay vendors with cash/card for food.
  3. If you are going to drink beer or other alcoholic beverages at the festival, I recommend buying at least some of your beverage tickets ($5 each) at the admission gate. If you don't, you'll just have to get on another line to buy tickets when you get into the festival.
  1. If the bands are what you came to see, get to the festival early in the day and set your blanket or lawn chairs on the grass. Although there were plenty of people there for the entertainment, there was room for more. The band schedule may not be precise, but if you are there early, you'll catch them all.
  2. There are a few places around the festival grounds where you can find respite from the sun, but wear sunscreen and a hat anyway.
  3. Like at many food festivals, you'll likely be standing up while you eat. Try to leave your purse and extras at home so you have both hands free.
  4. There was a large kids' zone near the Library and Chandler Museum with plenty of bouncing and other activities. There was a charge for some activities.
  5. Bring your patience and lots of cash!

For more information about the event, visit The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival online.

As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary ticket. While it has not influenced this article, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. All prices and offerings mentioned herein are subject to change without notice. 01/11