Team Applications Available For World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

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Memphis in May International Festival has now opened the application process for the 2018 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The 41st annual competition in Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis will be held May 16-19, 2018. Applications to join world-class pitmasters in the greatest barbecue competition on the planet are available now by clicking here.

Festival organizers anticipate nearly 250 top-tier barbecue teams will compete for the ultimate title of World Champion, including last year’s record-setting five-time winner, the Big Bob Gibson team from Decatur, AL. The world-renown competition routinely draws teams from across the country and around the globe, with 2017’s competitors coming from twenty-six states and six foreign countries vying for a chance at the title, fame, and prize money. Additionally, following completion of the Judges Seminar on November 11, ninety-five new judges will join the ranks of more than 300 Memphis in May certified judges expected for the 2018 competition. 

The 2018 Contest will feature a team from Memphis in May’s honored country of Czech Republic. A small delegation was recently sent from the Festival to Prague to meet with potential competitors and source additional programming exhibits, performers, and speakers to compose the International salute. Czech Republic boasts a rich culture and their cuisine is no exception, so the delegation found a number of competitors who are qualified to participate in next year’s Contest.

“The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is one of the signature events of the month-long Memphis in May International Festival and last year brought nearly 75,000 people to downtown Memphis,” says James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May. “Our Contest honoring Memphis’ culinary trademark brings media attention and competitors from around the world in anticipation of seeing or being the next World Champion.”

Boasting the largest prize purse on the barbecue circuit – $122,000—The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest isn’t only about the glory. In addition to the core categories of Whole Hog, Rib, Shoulder and Patio Porkers (amateur division), there are twelve ancillary contests with prize money at stake.

Primary sponsors include Cattlemen’s Barbecue Sauce, Kingsford, Budweiser, and Reynolds Wrap Pitmaster’s Choice.

Applications are available by clicking here with an application deadline of February 16, 2018.

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