Porkapalooza 101

Porkapalooza is essentially a BBQ competition but it’s so much more!! For two years now, Alberta Pork has organized this community event that offers all visitors a food festival that explores the art and culture of BBQ. It’s a form of cooking that’s as old as time itself, and enjoyed around the world by all cultures and nationalities.

We’re taking the festival to a new location this year so you’ll find us June 17-19, 2016 in central Edmonton at Clarke Park/Stadium (south of Commonwealth), easily accessible by car, bus or LRT.  When you come down to Clarke Park, you’ll instantly notice the wonderful aromas coming from BBQ teams gathering here from all over western Canada and competing this weekend for $16,000 in prize money. They have the option of competing Saturday in 2 categories – the Chef’s Challenge (can cook their preferred meat) and the Alberta Pork Choice (Alberta Pork supplies the meat). BBQ times are short and they hand their samples to a 6-member judging panel.

But the big money comes in Sunday’s competition where the teams compete in 4 categories; chicken, pork ribs, pork butt (pulled pork) and beef brisket. They usually start BBQ-ing Saturday night and will be up all night tending their smokers where some of the meats are cooking for up to 12 hours! Sunday’s competition starts in the early afternoon and every 1/2 hour, the teams ‘turn in’ one of these 4 items to be judged for its taste, texture and appearance as well as its display techniques. The points are added up and all winners declared at 5pm at Clarke Stadium. Depending on the category, there are 1st – 8th place showings with the prize money awarded accordingly.

There’s a lot of great BBQ’ing going on and the teams are eager to talk to the public about their techniques (and might even give you a sample).  But there will also be many local food trucks and restaurants serving you up some great food on their own! In keeping with the nature of the festival, most food vendors will serve up a 100% BBQ or grilled menu to make sure you satisfy those BBQ cravings! Bring your appetite! You must purchase tickets for all menu items from the food vendors. Tickets are $1 each and can be used for food or beverages. A beer garden will be in operation throughout the festival and non-stop entertainment at the Food Stage and Local Music Stage.

A ticketed music event will take place all weekend long (June 17-19) inside Clarke Stadium. Headlined by award-winning groups from the 80’s, 90’s and today, each day will feature a different genre of music. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.

The kids will have their own form of entertainment at the all-inclusive Kids Zone hosted by AdaptAbilities. The Kids Zone is a wild and wonderful interactive kids play area with bouncy things, arcade games, crafts, face painters and balloon artists (there may be a nominal fee for the latter two) that will keep the smiles on their faces for a long time. The Kids Zone will be located in the Commonwealth Community Rec Centre.


See you at the Big Meat Up – Porkapalooza 2016!