City Of Davenport Hosting 5th Annual Grills Gone Wild
by James Coulter
For the past five years, the City of Davenport has been heating the grills for its annual Grills Gone Wild barbecue competition, and it’s set to heat those grills once again for its fifth annual event.
Between 40 to 45 barbecue teams will be attending and competing in this year’s Grills Gone Wild, Davenport’s annual barbecue competition sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association. Each team will have a chance to win first place in either the professional or backyard division in several different categories. Attendees will be able to eat the barbecue prepared by purchasing grill bucks.
The event will be hosted along Market Street in Downtown Davenport on Fri. Apr. 23 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sat. Apr. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual car show will also be hosted, and several food, arts, and craft vendors and live entertainment will also be offered.
Equally as popular as the barbecue competition is the annual car show adjacent to the event. Each year sees more and more vehicles attend, and just as the competition expects to host more barbecue teams, the car show expects to host more vehicles.
Five years ago, the City of Davenport wanted to follow in the footsteps of other local cities such as Winter Haven and Lake Wales with their own annual barbecue competition. Since then, they have continued strong with great turnouts for both attendees and barbecue teams.
“A lot of cities have done it,” explained Danny McClain, Davenport Parks and Recreational Director. “It is a great event for the City of Davenport. We enjoy putting it on for the community.”
To ensure public health and safety during these uncertain times, special precautions will be taken. All attendees will be encouraged to wear masks, and all vendors and participants will be required to wear masks. Hand sanitizer stations will also be made available with free face masks.
This year’s event will be hosted along Market Street as always. Next year’s event will be hosted outside the new community center, which is slated to open this October. The new area is expected to offer more space to spread out and provide more entertainment, including a children’s play area.
Despite these uncertain times, the City of Davenport remains hopeful that their event will see a significant turnout. Grills Gone Wild has provided a fun time for locals and visitors alike, and they expect it to exceed expectations this year.
“Every year, we pretty much look forward to more new teams that will appear this year, and we have a lot of new teams that are scheduled here, so it is a good overall event for the community,” McClain said. “[That’s] what makes this event successful for the community. That is why we put this event on. It is another event we provide our citizens, and as our population grows, we understand that there will be more people that will come to this event, so we look forward to it.”
Grills Gone Wild will be hosted on Fri. Apr. 23 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sat. Apr. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be hosted in Downtown Davenport along Market Street. For more information, visit the City of Davenport’s website at: https://www.mydavenport.org