RE: Memphis BBQ Festival
We did it for 10 years. It was a lot of fun but sort of grew outside of itself by trying to be too much. You can't try the BBQ due to legal reasons. As Canucks we drove 20 hours to get there. We had some connections and were sponsored by local and homegrown interests. In the beginning you had to be there on the Friday night cause your hog needed tending. Then they(memphis in may folks) added Thursday to your itinerary. The slap in the face was adding Saturday night even if you didn't win. This because the gate fee was ever increasing. Well if you don't win, 10th was our highest in whole hog, the tradition is to have cocktails and head out to dinner to commiserate. Since we were there on a holiday (we all work in the food business) it became too much like working, no no.
Made great friends, turned on to BBQ, we still visit and enjoy our visits from the Memphisonions.