Crews set up for 2013 BBQ cooking contest - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Crews set up for 2013 BBQ cooking contest

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The start of the Memphis in May International World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is still several days away but putting something as big as the BBQ fest together, it takes several days and hundreds of workers - not to mention a lot of dollars.

The weather could not have been any better for the Monday set up of the barbeque contest, But will it rain later in the week and does it make any difference?

Work crews started coming into Tom Lee Park late last week to start the set up. In the old days they used to have a big parade the Wednesday before the event. That only lasted a couple of years because of the shear numbers of people and equipment that it takes to make all this happen.

Even putting together a broadcast booth is a major effort.

"It's going great. The mud is kind of a problem but Memphis in May has been very accommodating in trying to help us," said Nick Burchett of FOX13 News. "They are smoothing out the mud and hopefully with the bow tie-approved weather the sun will bake the mud right on in. We will be okay."

One thing you will see a lot of down here at the barbeque contest is a wooded decking. You see it everywhere. They had to have it a couple of days ago for all the mud this was a huge mud puddle. Now the mud is gone, the water has dried up and it has now turned into a dust bowl. You will be dealing with that dust unless of course it rains again. Then it's back to mud.

But even with the Mississippi River being up with all the spring rains, it is nowhere near what it was a couple of years ago when the barbeque fest had to be moved to Tiger Lane near the Liberty Bowl because Tom Lee Park was underwater.

"Down here nothing like the atmosphere right next to the river," Burchett said. "You know, when the bright lights come on and FOX13 gets to broadcasting out here, I think it's going to be a good time."

A good time it will be. It all starts Thursday and wraps up Saturday afternoon. In between thousands of people will become part of a small city in America named the World Championship Memphis in May Barbeque, or the simply the "Q."

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