WCBCC 2023 General Information
The 2023 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is taking place at Tom Lee Park along the riverfront in Downtown Memphis.
NO. Remember that this is a barbecue competition, NOT a food festival. The difference is that the teams are cooking only for the judges, team members and friends, not the general public. Additionally, local health department regulations prohibit teams from serving barbecue to the general public. There are barbecue vendors, as well as other food vendors that sell food to the public. Other food and beverages can be purchased through different on-site vendors.
The general public has access to taste AND judge barbecue from the teams competing by purchasing a ticket for the Kingsford Tour of Champions. Tickets must be purchased in advance. This unique barbecue experience gives you the chance to judge and sample barbecue and listen to teams explain their craft. Typically, we also have several championship teams vending.
All ages are welcome at World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Children under 8 do not need a ticket.
Most purchases can be made with cash, credit or debit. ATMs are available at WCBCC for your convenience.
Be aware that all bags and purses are subject to search. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes as well you will do a lot of walking.
The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will be presented rain or shine.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds, rain checks or exchanges.
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Pets are not allowed. Service animals that are trained to assist an individual with a disability are allowed at the Memphis Fairgrounds provided the animal does not pose a danger or threat to other service animals or patrons. Owners of service animals are responsible for the animal’s personal care. For entry into the events with a service animal, please bring your certificate and place the service animal in the appropriate vest to identify the animal. Service animals must be under the control of their owners at all times and must be on a leash at all times.
At the end of the competition, all remaining items in the lost & found are sent to the MPD property room at 201 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103. Please call (901) 636-3550 for lost items.
Premium Parking is Memphis in May’s official partner. Click here to find a Premium Parking spot. You can also find additional parking throughout downtown Memphis and close to Tom Lee Park by clicking here.
Only VIPit Pass holders will be able to leave Tom Lee Park and re-enter.
Once a general admission ticket holder leaves Tom Lee Park, they will not be permitted back into the park without a new ticket.
Any COVID19 protocols that are in place at the time of the event will be enforced. Event details subject to change. The safety of our patrons and staff are our top priority.
What Can I Bring?
- Government issued photo identification
- Small purses 9“ x 9” MAXIMUM (these do NOT have to be clear)
- Small bags, backpacks, and fanny packs 18” x 18” x 18” maximum, (THESE BAGS MUST BE
- One factory-sealed water bottle of 20 oz. or less
- Camelback hydration packs (1.75Litres or less) MUST BE EMPTY
- Sunglasses & Hats
- Sunscreen lotion – non-aerosol containers only (we’ll have sunscreen stations around the park too)
- Cell phones
- Non-professional flash/still cameras
- Small compact umbrellas
What Can’t I Bring?
- Illegal substances
- Firearms, explosives and weapons of any kind (including pocket knives, pepper spray, mace, fireworks, etc.)
- Aerosol containers (including sunscreen & personal beauty products)
- Selfie sticks
- Outside food or drink
- Cameras with detachable lenses
- Professional radios / walkie-talkies
- Cans, containers, glass bottles and coolers
- Laser pointers (or similar devices)
- Yard games, glow sticks, marker pens and inflatables
- Chains / Chain wallets / spiky jewelry
- Oversized umbrellas (small, collapsible umbrellas are permitted)
- Tents, canopies or shade structures of any kind
- Totems, flags, banners or signs
- Water Guns
- Thrown objects (baseballs, footballs, frisbees, etc.)
- Recording Equipment
- Oversized purses, bags, backpacks, etc. (larger than 18” x 18” x 18”)
- Pets (with the exception of service animals)
- Bikes, rollerblades, hoverboards, skates, skate boards, scooters, etc.
- Musical instruments
- Stickers or adhesive decals
- Balloons of any kind
- Bad attitudes
*These items are subject to change. Please recheck this section before attending the event to have the most up-to-date listing.*
**Drone operators flying at the Fairgrounds during Memphis in May events will be arrested and prosecuted by the City of Memphis**
We want to ensure Memphis in May International Festival events are enjoyable for all our patrons and we recognize some of our guests may need accessibility-related assistance. Most of the access-related questions are answered below. For additional assistance, please contact us at email@example.com.
PATRONS WITH MOBILITY LIMITATIONS
All events are wheelchair accessible. Please be aware the grounds do include natural terrain, so if it should rain there will be mud in some places.
Memphis in May does not provide personal care, golf cart rides, or push service. We also do not rent wheelchairs. Please come prepared.
Viewing areas for patrons with mobility disabilities, plus one companion, are located on stage right at all main stages and the entry ramps are accessible from the sidewalk. The platforms have limited capacity and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To provide unobstructed lines of sight to the stage, patrons in the wheelchair platform area will be asked to sit during the performance and folding chairs will be available on a first-come, first serve basis.
Accessible portalets are available at each of the portalet areas and are marked on the map in the event program.
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS
Food and beverage items may not be brought in select Memphis in May events, particularly the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Persons with special dietary needs may bring small amounts of food, for personal use only, into the venue if accompanied by a doctor’s note. For special requests for food items brought into the festival, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pets are not allowed. Service animals that are trained to assist an individual with a disability are allowed at the events; emotional support animals do not qualify. Per ADA regulations, the service animal must remain under the handler’s control at all times and must not pose a danger or threat to other service animals or patrons. Owners of service animals are responsible for the animal’s personal care. For entry with a service animal into the events, please be prepared to explain what work or task the dog has been trained to perform, per ADA guidelines. While a specific service animal vest or harness is not required for the animal’s entry, due to the number of people at each event, having it identified as a working service dog would help deter patrons from wanting to pet the animal while it is working.
Interpretation services for patrons may be available upon request. To request such service, please notify Memphis in May when purchasing your tickets. A minimum of three weeks prior notice is required to obtain a qualified interpreter and the artists’ lyric sheets.
LARGE PRINT OR BRAILLE SCHEDULES/PROGRAMS
Memphis in May will provide, with four weeks prior notice, event programs in Braille or large print. To request such a program, submit the request to email@example.com or by calling the Memphis in May International Festival, Inc offices at (901) 525-4611.
For any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.