Gates open for World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is officially underway.

It’s a battle to be the best.

"I think our ribs are top notch," said Neil McClure, the Usual Saucepects.

The competition is fierce, 250 teams from 26 different states and six countries will battle it out to take home the bragging rights of being the world champion.

We had an impeccable timing checking out the The Usual Saucepects. Their ribs were fresh off the smoker.

With bragging rights at stake, the team isn't shy about boasting about their BBQ skills.

"We're just a lot more fun," said McClure. "And our food is a lot better."

Neil McClure shared only one of the secret ingredients to his hopeful award winning ribs.

"Patience. Just have patience," said McClure.

To honor Memphis' bicentennial the city was chosen by Memphis in May organizers as the honored country this year.

Competitors went all out this year to celebrate Memphis, from pigs dressed as Elvis, to the King and friends riding the Zippin Pippin and even a mannequin dressed as Prince Mongo.

"It's a gift. It's unreal. It was something I was super excited about because this city is so amazing. It's great to finally honor it," said Austin Brown, Swine and Dine decorator.

While the competition is stiff, these teams cook to create the best ribs, whole hog and shoulders for the judges.

It doesn't stop the day and night party at the park.

Last year, the Memphis in May festivities had $137.7 million economic impact on the city.

There is a possibility that this could be the last year we see this BBQ contest in the park.

Proposed changes to Tom Lee may drive out the festivities.

Mediation is ongoing between Memphis in May and MRPP.

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