Harford County MD’s most anticipated event of the year is the MD State BBQ Bash.  Named as Harford County’s “Best Event” 2012 – 2016, the MD State BBQ Bash is a barbecue themed street festival featuring the Maryland State BBQ Championship, with more than 50 competition teams from the Mid-Atlantic area and beyond competing for $12,500 in cash prizes and the chance to compete in the annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN and The American Royal in Kansas City, MO.

In addition, more than 40 amateur teams will compete in the MD State BBQ Bash Tailgate Challenge to see who has the best ribs and chicken while competing for cash, prizes, and bragging rights.  For more than 10 years, the MD State BBQ Bash has grown to be one of the largest, most fun, and most anticipated events of the year in Downtown Bel Air. Great food, great music, great people, the Maryland State Barbecue Championship and the MD State BBQ Bash Tailgate Challenge, have combined to create a tradition that we hope you will want to be a part of this year and in the years ahead.

Best of Harford

October 15 &16, 2021

Downtown Bel Air
Harford County, MD

2 South Bond Street

Free to all
who attend

The MD State BBQ Bash is free for the public and has regularly drawn over 30,000 attendees over two days with record setting attendance of 35,000 in 2015. The MD State BBQ Bash is one of the most anticipated and exciting community events in Harford County, with a following throughout the Baltimore metropolitan region and beyond.

As always, the MD State BBQ Bash is being brought to you by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Main Street Maryland organization dedicated to creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air, MD.  This event is the largest fundraising effort for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance and 100% of the proceeds benefits the mission and is reinvested locally. Click here to see the full list of sponsors and partners.

Applications for BBQ Bash

The applications for the MD State BBQ Bash are now open! Please click the links on the side menu for more information.

Music Schedule

The MD State BBQ Bash partners with WXCY Radio to deliver an incredible music experience at the Bash. Keep a look out for the 2021 line up!


Admission into the MD State BBQ Bash is free. For their safety, no pets/dogs allowed.


Plenty of parking is available throughout Downtown Bel Air. All parking is free in Downtown Bel Air on weekends and after 5pm on weekdays. Click here to see where you can park.


No weapons of any kind will be permitted in the event. Security will provide screening upon entry.


Homewood Suites by Hilton Bel Air is the preferred hotel of the Maryland State BBQ Bash. Homewood Suites is located at 4170 Philadelphia Road Bel Air, MD 21015. Convenient to I95, there are over a dozen hotels in Edgewood (21014) and Aberdeen (21001) Maryland.