Memphis in May - Barbeque Fest

Events in Memphis, TN

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barbeque fest championship collage
Beale Street Music Festival

International week

World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest

Great Southern Food Festival - featuring Sunset Symphony

Educational programs

Memphis In May - May 18, 19, and 20, 2000

Sanctioned Contest Network information
Schedule and results of sanctioned contests
1999/2000 Team standings
1999 Winners

Memphis in May invites you to join us for 3 days of the ultimate competition in pork barbecue.

Inspired by the region's appetite for pork barbecue and crowned as the barbecue cooking capital of the world, Memphis is the natural place for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. This is one of Memphis in May's most popular events. 

More than 97,000 people attended the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest to see, smell and experience the legend of Memphis Barbecue. 1999 saw the introduction of Rib Row, an area that offers championship barbecue to the public. 

The year 2000 marks the 23rd anniversary of this ultimate barbecue competition. Highlights of the 3-day event include competition in three categories: whole hog, shoulder and ribs, plus the "Patio Porkers" division which allows the "backyard" barbecue chefs the chance to compete without going up against the "Big Hogs." Program activities throughout the day and evening include Ms. Piggie, Hog Calling, Showmanship and secondary events including Anything But, Barbecue Sauce and the new Hot Wings competition. Approximately fifty sanctioned barbecue contests across the United States are now part of the MIM Sanctioned Contest Network. Winners from these contests are guaranteed a space for competition here, making the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest the "Superbowl of Swine." 

Famous barbecue visitors have included Vice-President Al Gore, Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, Ambassador James Sasser and former Mississippi Governor, Kirk Fordice, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Cybil Shepard. 

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest has received international Coverage on New Zealand and Japanese television. The WCBCC has also been spotlighted on two Food Network shows - a 30 minute prime-time special hosted by Al Roker and a segment of "Extreme Cuisine." Other shows which have featured the WCBCC include "Good Morning America," the "Today Show," "CBS This Morning," and "Prime Time Live." This event has also received national attention in the Smithsonian, New Yorker, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. The ultimate award, the honor of "the largest pork barbecue cooking contest in the world" was bestowed on the WCBCC in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records and remains unchallenged today. 

For a printable barbecue team application, click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the team application. 

Become a Certified Barbecue Judge 

Join the ranks of an elite, knowledgeable, sought after group - become a Memphis in May certified barbecue judge! 

The steps to become a judge are simple. You must first attend a judging seminar which covers the basics of what constitutes good barbecue and explains the criteria for judging. You will be shown (and allowed to taste) what well-cooked barbecue should be like. A quiz is given before and after the seminar to gauge your knowledge of BBQ. 

The seminar lasts approximately 8 hours and costs $50.00 per person. After completing the seminar you are considered a trained judge. To become certified, you must successfully judge two sanctioned contests and complete a form requesting your certification. 

We currently have 1 seminar scheduled. 

Washington, D.C. 
March 18 
Contact person: Kathy Halo, (703) 799-0523

Advance registration is required. Please call the contact person with Memphis in May for information on registering for the seminar. 

Although we try to be as accurate as possible with dates and times for Memphis in May, make sure and call the Memphis in May office at 901-555-5555 to verify times and dates.