<a href="/2012/03/12/acm-experience-offers-fans-access-to-artists-and-country-lifestyle/">» See What Else Is Happening at the ACM Awards</a>
acm awards pork ribs BBQ Throwdown Adds Meat To ACM Award Celebration This Weekend

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

This weekend, as part of the Academy of Country Music Awards celebration in Las Vegas, some of the country’s most serious grilling gurus are gathering alongside all those (presumably hungry) country stars to compete for prizes of their own. The total package is a mouthwatering $50,000, which is one of the biggest in the world of competitive BBQ (yes, there is such a thing).

And if you want a taste of what’s on their grill, you can have it, as vendors will be selling barbecue, offering tastings, and even providing some cooking demonstrations.

All BBQ events below are part of the ACM Experience and will be held March 30-April 1, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Friday, March 30

3:00pm (PST): Competition begins at the BBQ Demo Area. Chefs include: Chef Brian Elledge (Mandalay Bay), Chef Matt Scovill and Chuck Wagenaar (Luxor), Chef Gary Munsie and Daniel McGowen (Excalibur) and Chefs Derek Gigliotti and Julio Castillo (Mirage)

5:00pm – Winners Announced on the Country Thunder Stage.

Saturday, March 31:

Today’s the day of the actual ACM BBQ Throwdown. This means, it’s the culmination of more than 24 hours of grilling, perfecting and judging of the best 100 international BBQ teams. Dig in!

12:00pm – Judging – Open to the public to watch!

6:00pm – Winners Announced on the Country Thunder Stage.

Today is also the BULL Sin City BBQ Challenge, where country music artists, Miss Nevada and TNA Wrestlers will be paired up with BBQ celebrities to compete for prizes.

4:00pm – Competition begins at the BBQ Demo Area with Ira Dean, Kenny Foster, Canaan Smith, Miss Nevada Alana Lee, Jeff Hardy and James Storm.

5:00pm – Winners Announced on the Country Thunder Stage.

Sunday, April 1:

Today is Ribba Ramma, an amateur competition open to the backyard griller. Professionals will be judging while attendees are invited to sample for a $10 suggested donation (to the Autism Foundation) and vote for the People’s Choice Winner.

10:00am – Competition begins in the BBQ Team Area.

3:00pm – Winners Announced on the Country Thunder Stage.

All BBQ events above are part of the ACM Experience, the first-ever, free, open-to-the public country music lifestyle event being held as part of the ACM Awards celebration. Other events during the three-day ACM Experience (March 30-April 1) include the ACM Expo,the Ram Ride and Drive, concerts, and the Fan Jam. Events are held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local

Visit the ACM Awards section at CBS Local.

Cast your vote for the 2012 ACM Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year.

See profiles of 2012 ACM Awards nominees.

Pick which country song you like better.

Watch the Academy of Country Music Awards live on Sunday, April 1 at 8pm ET (delayed PT) on CBS.

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