Join the ranks of the most prestigious meat smokin’ pit masters on the planet at the 39th annual World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest.  With more than 250 people competing from 20+ states and several countries and an estimated 100,000 people attending, it has grown to become the largest pork barbeque competition in the world.  Media from around the world, including the BBC and The Food Network, come to town to cover the event.

The WCBCC originally got its start in 1978 with 26 teams competing.  With an entry fee of only $12, the $500 grand prize won by Bessie Louise Cathey was quite a good return on her investment.  Today the entry fees range from $700 - $2600 just for renting booth space with an additional $60 per competition entry.  But prizes have grown substantially too.  At sake this year is the largest prize purse in the history of the championship, totaling $115,000!

The competition has three official meat categories – pork ribs, pork shoulder and whole hog.  There are also several side categories – Anything But (meaning anything but pork), Sauce, Hot Wings, and the Kingsford Tour of Champions.  Only wood and charcoal cooking is allowed at the event – no gas or any other kind of heat system is allowed. 

In addition to the food, there are also several fun special events.  Ms Piggie Idol – where teams dress up contestants as pigs and performs skits on stage.  Best Booth – booths are judged on design and originality.  T-shirt Design – shirts are judged on design and originality.  Cooker Caravan – A free behind the scenes look at the competition for the general public with guided tours to teams in each category.

If you’ve not been to the WCBCC before, what are you waiting for? May 12-14, 2016. 
Thursday, May 12: 11 a.m. - midnight. Friday, May 13: 11 a.m. - midnight. Saturday, May 14: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
 
I’m hungry just thinking about.  To learn more about the event and to order tickets, visit the website.

By and photo credit: memphisinmay.org