This weekend, the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle will be returning to Washington, D.C. On Friday morning, members of the media were invited to experience a sampling of what to expect on the days of the actual festival. One of the organizations that will be at the event, Perdue, has sponsored the event for 10 years, but will have a food truck as a first. The Perdue specialty this weekend will be chicken wings and the proceeds will benefit the USO.
Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO-Metro, said that last year’s BBQ event raised around $250,000 for the organization. “This year, it’s going to be over the top,” she said. Rogers said that the organization she represents and Giant have a strong partnership with each other and that this isn’t the only fundraiser where the two organizations work together. Proceeds from the festival will also benefit Capital Area Food Bank.
The festival will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. For Derrick Wood and his wife, Monique Wood, it is another opportunity to compete. Derrick said they have a series of trophies, but they’re not resting on their laurels. “We’re working on that,” he said.
The festival is also an event where vendors can promote their products. One of the vendors, Virtuoso, showed off its frozen pizzas. Karyn Walsh, marketing manager, said that the company originally began as ristorante pizza, but that there is a concerted effort to build the company brand. Walsh promoted the pizza as an alternative food option to put on the grill and said that the frozen pizza can be bought at Giant.
Jamie Miller, manager of public and community relations at Giant, said that approximately 100,000 people are expected to come to the festival.
“It’s all about food, family, entertainment,” he said.