Memphis team competes for 42nd year at World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest

Memphis team competing for 42nd year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest has been around for 42 years and grown to host 250 teams in Tom Lee Park.

There’s only one team that can say they remember participating in the first ever World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.

"I remember it real well,” said Pete Gross, Redneck Bar-B-Que Express.

"We started in a parking lot with a few people,” said Woody Coleman, Redneck Bar-B-Que Express.

"Only 16 teams competed,” said Gross.

"We had no water so you had to haul your water,” said Coleman.

"And we were the only team. So the only group that had team t-shirts,” said Coleman.

Woody Coleman and Pete Gross are two of the founding members of Redneck Bar-B-Que Express, the longest running team at Memphis in May.

Their team has participated in all 42 years of competition and that means they have a lot of stories to tell.

"More than you can imagine! Haha,” said Gross.

Woody says his claim to fame is he's the only man in the world who's attended all 42 years. Pete had to skip one year in the 80's.

"I'm proud of it! It's an accomplishment,” said Coleman.

With Memphis in May celebrating the Bluff City’s bicentennial, it’s only appropriate to celebrate these Memphians, who have seen the festival grow beyond what they ever could have imagined.

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