Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Heats Up Tom Lee Park May 14-16

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246 teams from 26 states and seven countries will compete to be crowned world champion. Over $110,000 in prize money will be won in the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest May 14-16, 2015

"Not only does our event have a national appeal, but we have competitors and visitors from around the world who come to our great city to experience one of the main things Memphis is known for – barbecue,” said Jim Holt, President & CEO of Memphis in May.

America’s most prestigious barbecue cooking competition, The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, is scheduled for May 14-16, 2015 in Tom Lee Park in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

Over 246 teams from 26 states and seven different countries will compete for the exclusive honor to be named Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Grand Champion. Barbecue teams will compete for over $110,000 in prizes with the Grand Champion taking home more than $14,500.

“Not only does our event have a national appeal, but we have competitors and visitors from around the world who come to our great city to experience one of the main things Memphis is known for – barbecue,” said Jim Holt, President & CEO of Memphis in May. “All eyes in the barbecue circuit will be on Memphis this week. After all, this is the mother lode of all barbecue competitions.”

The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest incorporates the Memphis in May International Festival honored country of Poland by inviting a polish chef and barbecue cooking team to participate in the contest and offering a prize category for barbecue teams for the Best Booth that incorporates Poland into the booth design. Many of the barbecue team booths are very elaborate two-story structures allowing team members plenty of room to celebrate their wins and providing large over-the-top canvasses for decorations. Winners of the Best Booth Competition will be announced at the Cattlemen’s Main Stage on Thursday night at 8 p.m., along with the winner of the ever-popular Ms. Piggie Idol Contest; a parade of male contestants strutting their stilettos and snouts for knee-slapping fun.

The barbecue team from the honored country of Poland is named the Polska Porkers and will be overseen by Chef, Kazubski Grzegorz. The Polska porkers and Chef Kazubski Grzegorz have garnered many awards and recognitions in barbecue contests in Europe as well as the United States.

Teams will compete in a number of categories including: Whole Hog, Rib, Shoulder, Anything But, Hot Wings, Beef, Poultry, Seafood, Sauce and an Exotic category. Judging for the ancillary contests will take place on Friday and winners of the Anything But, Hot Wings and Sauce categories will be announced on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The judging for the main categories will take place on Saturday and the weekend will wrap up with a new Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Grand Champion being crowned at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday from the Cattlemen’s Main Stage.

The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is known to be just as much about having fun as it is about intense competition and is open to the general public. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com via this link: http://bit.ly/MIMBBQTIX2015 or at the main gate and cost $10.

Entertainment on the Cattlemen’s Main Stage features Blackjack Billy on Thursday night, Drivin’ n Cryin’ on Friday night and Biz Markie on Saturday night and is free with Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest admission.

The Cooker Caravan is free and gives the general public an intimate view of the barbecue contest and competing teams. The Cooker Caravan behind the scenes tour includes information on how the world’s best barbecue cooking teams produce prize-winning barbecue, a chance to see a variety of specialty grills and smokers, and tips on how to improve backyard grilling. Interested Cooker Caravan participants should meet between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14 – Friday, May, 15 at the Academy Sports Cooker Caravan tent located in the middle of the park near the main judges tent to sign up for a time slot. The Cooker Caravan departs every 30 minutes.

Kingsford Tour of Champions - http://www.memphisinmay.org/kingsford-tour-of-champions

Now anyone can be a judge of world championship barbecue with the Kingsford Tour of Champions. Kingsford Tour of Champions judging takes place on the Thursday and Friday of the contest, with sessions from 2-4 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. on both days. Anyone wanting to participate in the Kingsford Tour of Champions and judge world championship barbecue for themselves must purchase a $12 ticket available online at the Memphis in May web site here: http://www.memphisinmay.org/products/2015-kingsford-tour.

The Kingsford Tour of Champions price does not include admission to the World Championship Barbecue Contest. Purchase general admission tickets here. Registered participants pick up their judging packet at the Kingsford Tour of Champions Judges check-in at Tom Lee Park (located outside of the Judges Tent).

About Memphis in May International Festival
In 2015 the Memphis in May International Festival is saluting Poland as the honored country in its 39th annual month-long celebration. In addition to hosting the city’s largest events like the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony, Memphis in May also produces extensive educational, international, and economic programs for the city. Memphis in May International Festival is the official festival of the City of Memphis.

Memphis in May International Festival is a not for profit, community-based organization that contributes over $70 million in economic impact to the community, fosters civic pride, promotes awareness of Memphis heritage, and builds international relationships and understanding through education. For additional information about the Memphis in May International Festival, please visit the official Memphis in May web site at http://www.memphisinmay.org.

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