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BrooklynQ
12-01-2006, 09:43 PM
DEMOPOLIS - Tonight will mark one the most exciting events of Christmas on the River, the Alabama State Championship BBQ Cook-off.

“It's the biggest party outside of a football game you will ever go to,” Jack Cooley, Chairman of Christmas on the River said about the cook-off.
This is the 19th year that the cook-off has been a sanctioned part of Christmas on the River.

The cook-off will be held at the George Franks Ball field at the Demopolis City Landing.

There are 45 teams participating in this year's cook-off, Cooley said.

“Fourteen of them are backyard teams and will only cook ribs,” Cooley said. “Thirty-one professional cooking teams will cook ribs, brisquit, chicken and pork for the big money.”


Cooley said the competition draws teams from all over the U.S.

“We have teams that come every year from all over,” he said. “They come back year after year to take part in this competition.”

Although returning champions compete year after year, Cooley said thus far, no one has won the competition back-to-back.

“It hasn't happened yet,” Cooley said. “And, I don't think it probably ever will.”

Cooley said there are multiple categories the professional teams compete in.

“Within 30-minute intervals they (the competitors) will enter a sauce, ribs, chicken, pork and brisquet for judging on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.,” Cooley said.

An $8,000 grand prize will be given to the winner of the weekend cook-off and a $3,000 cash prize will be awarded for the “Governor's Trophy.”

The cook-off will begin at 4 p.m. and admission is $7.

Cooley said they are hoping for a good turnout to the cook-off and the cook-off will include 11 kegs of complimentary beer.

The $7 admission fee is to view the preparation for competition and to listen to the live entertainment, Farmers Daughter.

Cooley said there will be a vendor selling food and other drinks outside the competition gates.