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April 2024
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Downtown Mesa Association Presents Downtown Mesa BBQ Classic Nov. 3 – 4
By Claire Natale - Thursday Oct 26, 2023
The Downtown Mesa Association is excited to announce the Downtown Mesa BBQ Classic, taking place Nov. 3-4, 2023. This event is a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competition with pitmasters from across the country, including a one-meat challenge and a four-meat master’s series competition, all taking place in the heart of Downtown Mesa. Over 100 certified KCBS members from across the U.S. have applied to be judges and teams will compete for a $10,000 purse and bragging rights in front of 5,000 spectators.

“We’re thrilled to bring pitmasters from around the country to Downtown Mesa,” said Nancy Hormann, president of the Downtown Mesa Association. “This event is free for spectators, and we encourage the community to come out and enjoy great barbecue while the teams battle it out for the grand prize.”

On Friday, Nov. 3, the teams will participate in a one-meat pork ribs competition. The four-meat masters’ series will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4, juried by certified KCBS judges, the mayor, council members and community leaders. All contest awards will be presented following the conclusion of judging and voting on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday, the community can participate in judging the BBQ pitmasters and food trucks by purchasing a people’s choice ticket for sampling. The ticket costs $20 for a passport offering 10 two-ounce samples or one rib bone.
In addition to the BBQ Classic, community members can visit the CRAFT Q featuring regionally recognized art exhibitors, live music, culinary art, and cooking demonstrations. CRAFT is an inaugural celebration showcasing the state’s diverse artist communities. A collective of premier local artists coming together in a unique platform that serves as a conduit to connect already thriving art communities with unique subcultures that are showcased to the public. CRAFT aims to inspire audiences with galleries, interactive experiences, demonstrations, performances with creative minds representing any & all forms of artistic expression.

“We hope to see the community fill the streets of Downtown Mesa on Saturday,” said Hormann. “Everyone can get in on the fun by tasting various food trucks and voting for the best, enjoying live music and visiting the CRAFT Q.”

WHAT: Downtown Mesa BBQ Classic

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 3-4
Friday – 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Mesa
100 N Center St., Mesa, AZ 85201

COST: FREE for spectators
$20 people’s choice ticket for tasting

For more details on Downtown Mesa and to stay updated on future openings, events and developments, visit or follow on Facebook and Instagram at @DowntownMesa.

About Downtown Mesa Association
The Downtown Mesa Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the beneficial economic growth and business development of downtown Mesa, the city’s central business district and original square-mile townsite. We accomplish this through policy development, advocacy, and program management functions conducted on behalf of downtown property and business owners, and in cooperation with public and other private-sector partners. For more information, please visit