From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the D'Iberville Civic Center will be filled with smoky and saucy deliciousness as the venue hosts the 10th annual D'Iberbville BBQ Throwdown & Festival.
The cook-off, presented by Gateway Group and the city, offers sanctioned competition for professionals as well as an opportunity for novices of all ages to pit their best barbecue against others'. Up to $10,000 in cash and prizes is on the line.
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Professionals will compete in chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket cook-offs. More than 100 people will conduct blind judging to determine the winners. The grand prize includes being entered into a drawing entry for participation in the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
Opening the door for amateurs is the Backyard Division. Brian Sims, one of the event organizers, said it draws great participation each year.
"It seems to be the most popular," he said. "A lot of people cook and grill in the back yard and people tell them, 'Yours is the best around; you should compete.'"
There also is a popular Pulled Pork Tent that allows participation for a $10 entry fee and a minimum of 10 pounds of pork to be prepared. Guests pay $5 for a sample plate and cast a Peo
ple's Choice vote. The winner gets a trophy and a cash prize that is dependent on the amount of entry fees collected.
Sims said winning the People's Choice event has nothing to do with the rigid standards of professional competitions.
"Some of the samples that don't make it to the final table for judging are incredible. It's a matter of some people like it sweet and some like it vinegary. Some like it with sauce on it and some don't," he said.
The Piglet Division offers fun for ages 15 and younger. For a $10 entry fee, each chef or team receives two pork chops to be prepared any way they like. The top prize is $100.
Registration is $150 per professional team, $75 for the Backyard Division, and $10 for the Piglet Division (children up to age 15). Registration remains open through the beginning of the cook-off.
Music will start at 11:30 a.m. with Len Bentz, a country music artist out of Woolmarket. Following Bentz will be Southern Halo, a trio of sisters from Cleveland, Miss.: Natalia, 18; Christina, 16; and Hannah Morris, 15. Their sound is modern country rich in harmonies. Their self-titled debut album contains tracks such as "Cowboys," "Rewind" and "Little White Dress."
There will be arts and crafts and children's activities. Kids can get single or all-day passes for the bounce house and other games. There also will be amusement park rides.
General admission and parking are free.