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Barbecue is Back

Ariel Cobbert / The Commercial Appeal

It’s time for The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

But don't head downtown to Tom Lee Park as normal. This year's event will be held at the Fairgrounds in Liberty Park in Midtown Memphis.

Here are five things to know about the 2022 contest that runs May 11-14.

  • Different location

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will be located at the Memphis Fairgrounds for 2022 only. Memphis in May organizers say they will be back on the banks of the Mississippi River in 2023.

  • Parking

There are several first-come, first-served parking lots operated by the City of Memphis next to the Fairgrounds at Liberty Park. The daily fee is $20.

  • How to get a taste of championship barbecue

Unfortunately, teams cannot sell food to festival attendees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of championship barbecue.

Insiders know, a ticket to the Kingsford Tour of Champions allows you to get to taste and judge barbecue from several of the teams competing. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and they do sell out.

  • When to go

The cooking contest is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday. Wednesday and Thursday nights tend to be a little less crowded than Friday nights. And … Ms. Piggy Idol at 6 p.m. on Thursday is always a highlight.

  • Tickets

Purchase tickets online in advance at memphisinmay.org. Single day general admission tickets are $14 and four-day passes are $48.

Only attendees with advance purchase tickets are guaranteed admission if the park reaches capacity.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

For more information about the World Championship Cooking Contest, visit memphisinmay.org.  

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.