Murphysboro Praise the Lard Cook-Off celebrating 36 years of food, music, BBQ competitions

The 36th annual Praise the Lard BBQ competition is underway in Murphysboro
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:48 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 5:24 PM CDT
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Another long-standing event in Murphysboro kicked off on Thursday night, September 21.

The 36th Annual Murphysboro Praise the Lard Cook-Off began with their traditional fish fry, and all the fixins, at 5:30 p.m. through 8 p.m. across from the 17th Street Barbecue Warehouse. Awards for the chicken wing and fish contest were given out at 9 p.m.

The cook-off continues on Friday with the Grand Champion Meal from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be live free music. Tickets are $29.

Judging begins on Saturday after the Budweiser Lucky Beer Toast and salute to Mike Mills at 10 a.m.

There are three sanction contests: whole hog, pulled pork and pork rib.

All judges are MBN, KCBS or SCA certified.

Teams, from all over the U.S., are competing for more than $25,000 in prize money and trophies.

Even with their eye on the top prize, past teams have said the contest is a premier event where everybody knows each other.

The competition also includes a bloody Mary contest and steak cook-off.

Awards start at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Amy Mills, with 17th Street Barbecue, explains how competitive the cook-off is, what spectators can expect and how everything BBQ is celebrated.

A full list of events can be found by clicking here.

The competition is hosted by 17th Street Barbecue, which was started by Mike Mills, the founder of 17th Street who was widely known a legendary pit master.

The BBQ Cook-Off follows the Murphysboro Apple Festival, which wrapped up on Saturday, Sept. 16.