The contest will be held from 6-10 p.m. on Sept. 27 and from 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sept. 28 in downtown Ruleville.
“There will be a patio division for the amateur cooks and a challenger division for those more experienced teams who are looking to eventually move up to the pro division,” said Barbecue Chair Elise Jenkins.
“There is no qualifying criteria for a team to enter,” said Jenkins. “They must, however, agree to abide by the rules of the contest in regard to category entries and cooking techniques, which requires using only wood or charcoal — no gas. All entries must be cooked on site and must pass a meat inspection prior to cooking.”
Judges of the competition will be using rules from the Memphis Barbecue Network, which sanctions the event each year and requires them to judge on appearance, tenderness, flavor, and overall impression.
Both divisions will hold a “blind judging,” meaning samples are submitted for judging in coded containers.
Jenkins acknowledged that barbecue is a staple in Southern cooking and culture. She believes the reason it is strongly associated with Southern life is a simple one. “Family,” she said.
“Competitors know each other, and they enjoy the socializing along with some good ole fashion competition!” exclaimed Jenkins. “Barbecue competitors help each other in so many ways — not just if another team needs help on competition day but when the need arises.
“All of the great family gatherings include food, and nothing brings family together like the slow cooking process of barbecue,” said Jenkins. “The barbecue circuit is like one big barbecue family.”
Other activities apart from the competition include a sponsors’ dinner and a fireworks display on Friday. There will be a Rotary Club pancake breakfast, a 5K walk/run, and an arts and crafts area on Saturday. Food vendors will also be available.
Also, Friday night the band Curb Service will be providing musical entertainment as well as a musical segment dedicated to the late artist Duff Dorrough.
The event will also be reintroducing an antique car, truck, and tractor show on Saturday
Prizes for the competition range from plaques, trophies, cash prizes, and a 45-quart YETI cooler that will go to the highest scoring team for Friday night.
For any additional information or questions contact Elise Jenkins, Barbecue Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (662) 719-1675.