PLANT CITY – The city has agreed to spend $35,000 to extend water and electric lines to accommodate the expansion of the annual Plant City Pig Jam.
The expanded utility service at the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex will accommodate an additional 30 to 40 teams of barbecue cooks, City Manager Greg Horwedel said.
The barbecue festival has more than doubled in size since it was founded in 2003. The event needs more electricity and running water for the growing number of teams that compete for trophies and prizes in such categories as best ribs and best chicken.
Members of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will donate materials and labor for the project, chamber President Marion Smith said. She said the number of teams has grown from 34 to 80 over the years.
Horwedel called the Pig Jam a gem that brings lots of visitors to Plant City.
The festival sponsored by the chamber is held at the Four-Plex near Plant City Stadium. The improvements will be completed in time for the next Pig Jam on Nov. 23.
Barbecue teams from around the region compete at the Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned Pig Jam. This year, the event will host the state barbecue championship.
The number of spectators has risen dramatically since the first Pig Jam pulled in 5,000 people, Smith said.
“We’re at 15,000 plus and growing,” she said.