Cookoff returns Aug. 22

A cooker from team Piggy Smalls prepares his ribs for judges at last year's Taylor International Barbecue Cookoff.

Cookers will still have an opportunity to fire up their pits for the Taylor International BBQ Cookoff.

Hosted by the Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce, the cookoff is normally held the first weekend in June. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event has been rescheduled to Aug. 22.

“The Taylor International BBQ Cookoff is a wonderful tradition,” said Tia Stone, chamber president, “and we hope to host an event this year that will give all of us an opportunity for safe, outdoor fun with our friends and neighbors.”

The Chamber is planning the cookoff with the understanding that the city could restrict the event.   

“We are fully aware of the metrics that the community needs to reach before anything like this is permitted, but it is much easier to cancel an event than it is to get one going with a week or two notice,” Stone said.

The traditional cookoff on Saturday is $100 for one or all four meat entries including brisket, pork ribs, chicken and cook’s choice. There are jackpot categories for beans and barbecue sauce for an extra $10 per entry.

Last year, there were cookoff events on Friday night. The steak cookoff will not be held this year, but the contests for desserts cooked on the grill, margaritas and kid’s grilled cheese are open to the public again this year.

Participants do not have to be registered for the meat categories on Saturday to participate on Friday night. Registration for these categories is $10 each and people may register as many times as they desire.

Currently, there are no plans for Friday night entertainment.

“We are not planning music in the park for cookers,” Stone said, “though we do have thoughts about holding a dinner and dance that we are reviewing.”

At this time, it is unknown if the number of cookers will be limited. However, social distancing is being taken into consideration during the planning phase.

“We are warning them of other possibilities as well,” Stone said, “one, that the number of participants may be limited and, two, that camping sites may be spread apart to increase social distancing. Both of these will be first come, first served based on receiving the application and payment. We also expect to mark off appropriate social distancing spots in line for turn-in and during the awards ceremony.”

Cookers will be required to use gloves while cooking and serving. They will be asked to limit the number of outside guests at their sites. Masks are encouraged when social distancing cannot be reasonably accommodated.

The Chamber will keep cooks’ registration fees until the cookoff has been approved to be held.

The Chamber is currently accepting applications.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 512-352-6364.

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