HATTIESBURG, Miss. (August 13, 2018) – The 7th Annual Downtown BBQ Showdown, presented by The Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association, along with Brown Bottling Group- Pepsi will take place on Saturday, August 18, at Town Square Park in Hattiesburg.  Participating BBQ Teams will set up on Friday, August 17, with the public event on Friday from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. continuing until Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Friday night will feature live music by the Mann Brothers, numerous food vendors, and beer booths.  Saturday’s lineup includes entertainment by Folk Soul, both food and beer vendors, along with some seriously competitive BBQ cooking. 

The BBQ Showdown is the only competition in the Hattiesburg area sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS), whose mission 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 high-stakes cooking competition 
draws BBQ teams from across the Southeast to participate.  These teams compete on a professional level for prize money and points that go towards their KCBS standing towards the National Championship.  It’s a professional cooking competition being ranked by professional BBQ judges. 

"We have changed things up a little bit this year.  We will have both a Professional and a 'Back-Yard’ level of competition, " Brian Saffle, event coordinator said. " The Professional level will compete for $10,000 in cash and awards, while the ‘Back Yard’ competition offers amateur teams the chance to compete for cash prizes and get a feel for professional competitions. Another exciting twist this year is that our BBQ Showdown will be featured as an episode on the upcoming season of ‘Bama-Q,’ which is televised nationally on Destination America" Saffle said.

"Bama-Q” is a 30-minute TV show following members of the Alabama Barbecue Association as they compete against the best of the best BBQ teams from all over the U.S. The show gives viewers a peek into the competitive BBQ circuit in the Southeast. This 13-episode series is packed with fun times among good friends, who also have fiercely competitive natures, with a desire to win their next Grand Championship.

"Due to the growth in our event’s popularity and attendance, the teams won't be offering samples to compete in the People’s Choice award. However, we will have several local BBQ vendors on-site like Cadillac Pig and Murky Water's BBQ to ensure that all our event visitors get plenty of great BBQ to enjoy," Saffle said.  

“We encourage the public to come out to Town Square to watch the competition," said Saffle. "It's fun to be a spectator, and it's a bit like NASCAR and a cooking show at the same time. These teams are competing for points to advance to the National Championship, with only a short window of time to get their boxes turned in for each category."

The competition judges best beef brisket, pork shoulder/butt, chicken, and pork ribs. Cash and prizes are awarded to the Grand Champion, Reserve Champion, and for 3rd Overall.  Prizes will also be provided for 1st through 5thplace in each meat division. 

“We still have slots available for competitors, vendors and sponsors. Anyone interested in entering a team, being a sponsor, or being a vendor can visit our website,” Saffle said.

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About Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association (HHNA)

Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood (HHN), in Downtown Hattiesburg, Mississippi is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City. The neighborhood is a well-maintained, 23 block area listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). HHNA has received several awards and recognition over the years as being a leader in the community in the areas of preservation, community activism, and community involvement.  Most recently HHNA was a leading voice in the City Redistricting efforts.  In addition, HHNA was recognized by the Mississippi Municipal League, in July 2012 with the Award of Excellence for Planning and Economic Development (over 10,000) through the City of Hattiesburg; and recognized by the American Planning Association in 2011 as one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in America.  Chosen from over 150 nominees nationwide, HHN was selected as the first place in Mississippi to receive this designation.

Other HHNA events include the Annual Victorian Candle lit Christmas held every year the second weekend in December, and the Downtown Crawfish Jam held each year in April.

more information on HHNA visit our website at