California Festivals


Queen Mary West Coast BBQ Classic

LONG BEACH BBQ Festival May 11, 2019, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Waterfront Queen Mary Events Park
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
General admission tickets include event entry and five tasting tickets for $35
VIP tickets are $75 and include exclusive one-hour early event admission at 11 a.m., ten tasting tickets and two drink tickets. Individual tasting tickets are sold separately and are only available on-site for $3 per tasting.
Event parking is $20

The Queen Mary's Waterfront Cook-Off BBQ attracts smokers from across the country including slow-cooked hickory barbeque from Texas and southern Memphis-style barbeque. The competition is an official, KCBS-Sanctioned, California State BBQ Championship that brings together 25 of the top BBQ pitmaster teams to compete for cash prizes, as well as the People's Choice Award. Waterfront Cook-Off attendees can cast their vote.

By C. MacDonald

LONG BEACH, CA -- Otta Gas, Knock Ur Sox Off, Messy Jesse's, Holly Smokers, Smoky Doky, Dog House and Twisted Brisket...are just a few of 60 BBQers who created a variety of mouthwatering aromas over the Third Annual West Coast BBQ Classic yesterday at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

ATTRACTION: Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is one of the nation's premier ocean aquariums. Don't stand in line and wait! Get your tickets here!

Kids, seniors and everyone in-between enjoyed trying tastes or full meals painstakingly prepared by some of the top grill masters around. Meanwhile, celebrities and Kansas City Barbeque Society judges anonymously tasted ribs, pork, brisket and chicken to pick their winners.

"I like ribs that you can peel off with your tongue," said Celebrity Judge Dave Shelton, who has written for "Everybody Loves Raymond" and was head writer for National Lampoon. "Some look great but might be dry."


The cooks spend hours, using their secret ingredients to create just the right taste. Julie and Steve Rodriguez of 5Js BBQ cook their pulled pork for 14 hours. Julie, whose great uncle had a Missouri pig farm, uses a special sauce which has more than 15 different ingredients, including apple cider, molasses and brown sugar.

Their daughter, Jordyn, 16, raises cattle and is president of the Future Farmers of America at Fullerton High School. Another sibling, Jacob, 21, is a Ranch Manager near Modesto. Steve's grandparents were immigrants from Spain, who ended up operating a ranch in Arizona and later a market and butcher shop in Los Angeles. No wonder their popular BBQ went fast at the festival as word spread about their tasty offerings.

Steve and Julie are living their dream, the 5Js come from their kids' names. Steve works in computer graphics and his wife at a hospital but both are chasing their dream and heritage, hoping BBQ will be "their retirement plan." They've already made time to travel on a BBQ circuit and have competed in 30 events.

"It has become very competitive with so many different techniques," said Steve. "We love what we're doing, the fellow cooks and competitions. Eventually, we'd like to move to Mississippi, where our daughter Jessica lives, and cook our BBQ for folks there."

Bob and Carlyn Martin of Lakewood were having a ball tasting BBQ from 10 different chefs and other foods as well. "Loved the Double Oinker (sausage and pulled pork), baked beans and roasted corn," she said. "It's such a fun, family atmosphere and what a beautiful setting in the Waterfront Park of the Queen Mary with the Long Beach skyline as the backdrop."

"We also love the music, Robert John and the Wreck are sensational!"

The Martin's along with thousands of others were enjoying the "grillin', which provided the fillin', and allowed them to be chillin' with friends. There even were watermelon and cobbler eatin' contests. You also could get fresh baked potatoes and kettle corn,

The Queen Mary staff does an excellent job bringing a variety of well-run, special events to Long Beach. We recommend you check them out and be sure to bring your family and friends to next year's West Coast BBQ Classic. To find out what's happening, visit, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach.

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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