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TooSaucedToPork 12-28-2012 01:19 PM

Memphis in May 2013
That's right folks its time for another long play by play thread of MIM planning...Too Sauced To Pork style.

We got full membership spots on the team until February 28th
After that we can't guarantee wristbands.

Come one come all to one of the greatest shows on earth!

Just Pulin' Pork 12-28-2012 01:37 PM

I love following this thread!

dmprantz 12-28-2012 03:50 PM

Neil, is this going to be the first of many three generation events? If I make it down I'll buy you a drink for what you did after the storms.


TooSaucedToPork 12-28-2012 05:37 PM

Four generations if my granny comes again!
Thanks man! I was just doin my job. I got a heap of stories to tell you over that beer

TooSaucedToPork 01-09-2013 08:47 PM


Our first team meeting is done.

We have decided on a 26ft by 50ft spot - same size as last year

We are entering all food categories - Ribs, Hot Wings, Beef, Poultry, Seafood, Exotic, Mustard Sauce, Vinegar Sauce, and Tomato Sauce. Also probably entering the Ms. Piggie Idol competition...Its a hoot!

We are continuing the tradition of a Brethren Mixer. It will be at 5pm on Thursday May 16th. All Brethren are welcome! Food and Drinks provided, but if you want to bring something to pass, please do.

We are currently accepting new members for MIM 2013. If interested shoot me a PM or respond here. As with any MIM Team, Membership has its privleges...Full Bar, All you can eat and drink for 3 days, and good company.

smokinit 01-10-2013 04:21 PM

See ya all there took last year off. Entering Whole Hog ,Tomato Sauce,Mustard Sauce,Beef and Seafood. Darn good time.

TooSaucedToPork 01-16-2013 10:41 PM

The Travel Channel was filming in our booth last year at Memphis in May and featured Too Sauced To Pork in their EXPOSED! Series.

As far as we can tell the show airs Sunday January 27th at 4pm

TooSaucedToPork 01-24-2013 10:34 AM

So a few people messaged me asking what Memphis in May is like. This is an article I wrote last year that explains it all...

Picture this: You arrive in Memphis, Tennessee on a Thursday morning in May. In the airport you see a few quick service BBQ restaurants; Neely’s, Corky’s, and Interstate. Even though you are quite famished after your 6am flight, you of course pass these stale airport outlets in favor of the fresh smoked love that Memphis has to offer.
Hailing a cab, you tell your driver to high-tail it downtown. Stepping out of the cab at your hotel, your sinuses are assaulted by the smell of roast pork, spices, and sweet smoke. You walk through the revolving door of the Peabody, taking notice of the ducks splashing around in the center fountain, and the tux clad jazz pianist in the bar.

Checking in at your hotel, you can’t help but notice the hazy blue fog drifting and dancing about the alleys and byways of downtown. You drop your luggage and proceed to relive your own version of “Walking in Memphis”, pretending those Nike’s are blue suede, you are walking with your feet 10 feet off of Beale. You grab a “Big Ass Beer” from a vendor on Beale Street, watch the Beale Street Flippers do 27 continuous backward handsprings down the middle of the road; then follow the crowds, and your nose, towards the Mississippi River. Walking down the long brick-clad street, Ole Man River comes into view and so does the crowd. There are about a thousand or so people here, all calmly walking to the gates of what many consider to be the World Championship of Swine.

It is an amazing sight to behold. As you walk through the huge gate of the contest, the sweet smell of hickory hangs thick in the air. Over 250 BBQ Team booths (some 3 levels tall) line the over one mile long park. Over 100,000 people flock to this Mecca of BBQ every year to eat, drink, and worship at the altar of swine. This is the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest. Held every year on the third weekend in May, Thursday thru Saturday, it is certified by Guinness as the “World’s Largest Pork BBQ Contest”. Believe it or not, over the course of three days, over 84 tons of pork are cooked and consumed.

My name is Neil Gallagher, and before starting my own team, Too Sauced To Pork, I cooked on a few different teams in the contest. I was a guest of barbecue teams for many years before that. I have been a part of this amazing contest in one form or another for 21 of my 33 years of life. But alas, for the Average Joe there is a huge drawback to the festival, teams are not allowed to sell or give out samples to the general public. Due to Memphis Health Department regulations the teams can only give food and beverages to “invited guests”. “Invited Guests” are defined in MIM rules as anyone inside the fence of your team booth. The best way to experience the contest is on a team, or at least in a team booth, otherwise you will be on the outside looking in. You can join a team; there are many that offer people just like you a chance to experience this swinetastic soiree. Google Join a Memphis in May BBQ Team and you will see 4 or 5 teams that accept new members.

The days are full of contests, 16 different categories over 3 days. The nights are full of raging parties, many of which have huge buffet dinners, DJ’s, light shows, dance floors and multiple bars on multiple stories of a BBQ booth. When I say booth, I know you picture a ten foot by ten foot EZ-up with a table and some smokers. NOPE! These monstrosities are larger than most people’s houses. Many are 26ft wide by 50ft deep. That is 1300 square feet, before you start adding levels to them… That’s right MULTIPLE STORY booths. Some of these scaffolding-boned portable structures are 3 stories tall, that’s 3900 square feet of Pure Porkin’ Party.

Thursday is the Best Booth, Best T-shirt, and the Ms. Piggie Idol contest. First two are self-explanatory, the third is well….more complicated. Performers wear elaborate costumes, many featuring full-figured men in Pig Drag, singing porked up versions of popular songs. An absolute MUST SEE! Winners have included “Rib in a Box”, “Grills, Grills, Grills”, “Sweet Swine O’ Mine”, and the “Swine Warp.” The best time to connect with teams is on this day. Go around and ask about their cookers, no team can resist showing off. Awards are in the early evening and then a band is called in to finish out the night…

Friday is chocked full of competition cooking with the ancillary division contests. Categories include Tomato, Mustard and Vinegar Sauces; meat categories which include Beef, Poultry, Exotic, and Seafood, as well as the Hot Wings contest. A band plays before the awards, and then another after. Many cooking teams throw down the party on Thursday but are very much reserved on Friday night in anticipation for Saturday’s turn-ins. Of course that is just the cooking crew (about 5 people), the REST of the team, which on some teams include up to 200 members, live high on the hog and party till the cops shut them down for quiet time at midnight.

Saturday is held in the reverence of a Sunday morning Baptist church. There are no loud stereos, no parties, and no sign of the Carnival like atmosphere of the previous days. This is the Church of Cochon. Today we celebrate and piously reflect upon the main pork categories of Ribs, Shoulder, and Whole Hog. Every team has a blind box to turn in, and three onsite judges to schmooze. Booths are dolled up prettier than a 5th Avenue fine dining restaurant. Silver platters hold racks of ribs, exotic lettuces and fruits ornately decorate grilles and smokers, and you could even spot a team or two wearing tuxes, and greeting judges with a maitre d’. After all is said and done the long wait begins…only 3 teams from each category make the finals. We all wait for a smiling guy in a golf cart to attach a sign to your fence, signaling you are a finalist. When this happens, and HUGE cheer erupts, then you go into panic mode. That sign means 4 judges are coming to your booth to judge your pork. Fast forward to 6:30pm, everyone gathers at the main stage for the awards. The MC comes on and announces 10th through 1st place. If you didn’t final you pray for 4th-10th a HUGE honor in a field of 250.

I LOVE this contest; it is one of the highlights of my year. Why you ask? Excitement, pure and simple. Where else in the world can you find a BBQ contest two football fields wide and a full mile long with the majestic Mississippi as a backdrop. Where else in the World can you meet BBQ enthusiasts from across the globe, like the Danish National BBQ Team, The Norwegian National BBQ Team, or the Black Pig from Canada. Where else can you rub hoofs with some of the best in BBQ, people like Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Moe Cason, The Orrisons, and Chris Lilly just to name a few. Every year as that warm orange sun sinks into the Big Muddy, casting its amber hues over 100,000 swine worshippers, we competitors reflect upon its beauty with true reverence. Dreams are realized and shattered here, blood and tears are spilt, deep friendships are cemented, and lifelong dreams are granted…there is NO place on earth like Memphis in May.

Do yourself a favor, plan a trip to attend.

dmprantz 01-24-2013 10:53 AM

That's a lot of typing from some one I'd expect to be sleep deprived and changing diapers....


TooSaucedToPork 01-24-2013 11:30 AM


Originally Posted by dmprantz (Post 2340314)
That's a lot of typing from some one I'd expect to be sleep deprived and changing diapers....


I cut and pasted it from the Kingsford I am sleep deprived and changing diapers :-)

wingpirate 01-24-2013 11:51 AM

Hooray for Brethren Mixer on Thursday! I had a lot of fun at the last one, however I don't remember a single person's name. Heh. This time I'll bring a notepad. :biggrin1:

Bourbon Barrel BBQ 01-24-2013 11:55 AM

I really wanted to go and cook hog this year. I just can't swing that amount of cash. I need some sponsors haha.

gaspipe1 01-24-2013 12:35 PM

what a great thread!! TY for sharing this info. Tell ya what if I was going down to MIM I would be joining your team 100%. Seems that's the only way to do it and have fun. What's it run to join the team or be a guest?

TooSaucedToPork 01-24-2013 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by gaspipe1 (Post 2340435)
what a great thread!! TY for sharing this info. Tell ya what if I was going down to MIM I would be joining your team 100%. Seems that's the only way to do it and have fun. What's it run to join the team or be a guest?

We hold a Brethren Mixer/Happy Hour on Thursday that is free to all BBQ Brethren. As far as being a member of the team, we have different memberships for different wants and needs.

Some people just want to eat, drink, cook, and party so we have a membership for that.

Some people want to do a few of the above AND invite their friends, wives, girlfriends or families to do it with them, so we have a membership that reflects those extra costs.

Some people want to party 24/7 and in order to do that we have to buy extra 24 hour bands as MIM only gives teams 15 twenty four hour wristbands (and the category heads and cooks get those)

Gate admission is 11am-midnight...the cops line up at one side of the park at midnight and push everyone without a 24 hour band from the South gate to the Beale Street gate. Going down the entire mile of Team Booths, they check tent to tent for wristbands and people hiding. This becomes a wave of 10's of thousands of people with the cops behind them...kind of like midnight of Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street.

So, if you like, pm me and I will send you a team info sheet, team application, and membership list. We always love having Brethren on the team!


Iamarealbigdog 01-25-2013 10:42 AM

The only way to enjoy MiM is to be on a team, if you are not your just looking in.

The event starts Wednesday afternoon and carries through straight to Saturday night. Prep and setup up starts Sunday and you have to be out of the park by 10:00, and only two team members are allowed to stay onsite and that is strictly enforced

From experience it is a wonderful feeling sitting our front of your tent having a beer and you hold up your arm with your 24/7 wrist band on and the cops walk right by you. It turns into an exclusive club of hardcore BBQ enthusiast.

24/7 bands are the way to go and Too Sauced to Pork is the team to get on...

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