Approach sponsorship from the angle of what you have to offer your sponsor, nothing else. That mindset will go further to get you a sponsor than anything else. And research your potential sponsors thoroughly before you approach them. Find out about their competition and do your best to figure out what they need.
This isn't the best economy for pursuing sponsorship. Businesses are clutching their dollars like never before. Educate them on barbecue contests from the festival and traffic approach way more than the competition aspect. It doesn't hurt if you can win, but it's not a necessity. Show them how you will promote their business and be realistic with the compensation you expect to receive.
If I do everything half ass, how can I be a "full fledged" anything?