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Free barbecue in downtown Tampa today aims to make up for unappetizing political ads

Get free ribs today in downtown Tampa. istockphoto.com.

Get free ribs today in downtown Tampa. istockphoto.com.

You can get a free lunch of ribs and pulled pork today in downtown Tampa to make up for the unappetizing buffet of negative ads that have pummeled the Tampa Bay market this election season.

But before you can have a plate you have to post something nice and nonpartisan on social media.

Kingsford Charcoal surprised office workers Thursday morning by setting up a Bipartisan Barbecue Break with Chris Lilly, the Alabama pitmaster who has won 10 World BBQ Championships.

"You can't blame the good people of Tampa if they feel like they are trapped in a cauldron of negativity," the charcoal makers said in a news release announcing the free lunch.

According to research from Kantar Media, Kingsford said, Tampa has seen more than 15,000 negative ads from the presidential race so far this year, the most in America. That's an average of more than 55 negative ads per day, every day, since Jan. 1, "an amount of negativity scientists could potentially link to conditions ranging from remote control throwing to boiling baby back ribs," Kingsford said.

The barbecue runs until 2 p.m. in Joe Chillura Courthouse Square at Kennedy Boulevard and Morgan Street in downtown Tampa.

The key to getting a free plate of barbecued perfection is to be among the first 300 in Tampa to share a nonpartisan view on social media using the hashtag #BipartisanBBQ. So no Hillary or Trump bashing allowed.

Some suggestions from Kingsford for your tweets:

• Enough of the mudslinging, red and blue. Let's settle up with some BBQ. #BipartisanBBQ

• Divided we vote. But United We Grill #BipartisanBBQ

• No right wing. Left wing. Chicken wing. #BipartisanBBQ

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

Free barbecue in downtown Tampa today aims to make up for unappetizing political ads 11/03/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2016 11:11am]
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