The sixth annual Downtown BBQ Showdown, presented by The Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association, with Brown Bottling Group, will take place from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Walthall Park in the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood.
The BBQ teams will arrive and set up on Friday and the actual event opens to the general public on Saturday.
The showdown showcases the Downtown Historic Neighborhood and Downtown Hattiesburg to the public by offering great food and music and a fun family atmosphere. The event will once again be sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS). The Mission of the KCBS is to recognize barbeque as America's cuisine and to celebrate, teach, preserve and promote barbeque as a culinary technique, sport and art form.
"This is the first and only KCBS-sanctioned competition in Hattiesburg," said Brian Saffle, event chair. "It draws BBQ teams from across the Southeast to participate. We want to make sure that people understand that this is a professional level BBQ competition. These teams are here to compete for prize money and points that go towards their KCBS standing.
“Last year we weren't clear in how we presented the event, and people were confused because many of the teams didn't offer samples or weren't interested in talking to the crowds. So this year we want to make sure people understand that this is a high-stakes cooking competition, and the all-you-can-eat bbq is provided by a local BBQ restaurant and not by the teams. However, there will be several teams that will participate in the People’s Choice award and will be offering samples in exchange for the opportunity to receive your vote," Saffle said.
"We are excited to be able to announce that the all-you-can-eat bbq will be provided by one of Downtown Hattiesburg's newest restaurants, Murky Waters Blues and BBQ," said Saffle. "We are pleased to have them on board this year. They are new to the area, so I think that it brings excitement to the event."
Murky Waters will also be serving potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw with the purchase of an admission ticket. Tickets are $15 each with children ages 6-12, $10 and children 6 & under free. Murky Waters will also be providing a great selection of beer for purchase along with water and soft drinks.
T-shirts for the event will be for sale along with other unique foods and arts and crafts provided by selected vendors.
For the kids, there will be a Kids Zone to help keep them occupied. Of course, you will be able to do all of this while you listen to some of the finest local musicians.
This year the event will benefit The Field House for the Homeless. As part of the 250KCBS Meals Mission, the event will provide The Field House for the Homeless with Boston butts prepared by participating teams.
"In years’ past we have been able to provide Edwards Street Mission with more than 350 pounds of cooked meat to help supplement their food bank," said Saffle. In 2015, the Kansas City Barbeque Society announced its mission to feed the homeless and hungry in America with its 100KCBS Meals Mission.
“With the help of BBQ lovers from across the country, KCBS exceeded this goal by almost 15,000 meals. Proceeds from this event are reinvested by the Walthall Foundation into upkeep and maintenance of the Walthall Park and grounds and to support the HHNA.
The competition will be judged on the best beef brisket, pork shoulder/butt, chicken and pork ribs. There will be cash and prizes awarded to the Grand Champion, Reserve Champion and for 3rd Overall. There will also be prizes provided for the People’s Choice and 1st thru 5th place in each meat division.
But they can’t do it without the generous donations of sponsors.
“We still have slots available for competitors, vendors and sponsors," said Saffle. “Anyone interested in entering a team, being a sponsor or being a vendor can visit our website, bbqshowdown.blogspot.com or on Facebook follow us at www.facebook.com/DowntownBbqShowdown.”