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Memphis in May Festival

More than an event. More than a month. Memphis in May: a state of mind, a month-long revelry celebrating the indigenous charms of Memphis—and a different honored country each year. It’s cultural exchange at its best.
Memphis in May celebrates the world.
Honoring a different country each year brings the world to the city of Memphis-and keeps Memphis in the eyes of the international community. Art exhibits, food tastings, educational exchanges, traditional and modern performance troupes, and many other events bring the honored country to life in grand style.

A state of mind ... and more.
Memphis in May hosts the city's largest events like the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Sunset Symphony.

Barbecue is in the Air, and in Our Blood
The distinct aroma is beginning to fill the air. The crowds are gathering at the river’s edge. The party has begun. The world championship of barbecue is about to be decided on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis. The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is more than a gathering of some 250 barbecue cooking teams from around the world, all vying for prizes in the categories of shoulder, ribs, whole hog and grand champion. The contest is a world of its own, a cultural experience like no other, and a key element in this entertainment-focused city’s biggest month for entertainment.

Anyone who is anyone will have an invitation to visit a booth or two on the river this weekend. After all, this is actually 250 individual parties all taking place simultaneously, for three days. Contestants come from all walks of life – champions from sanctioned events across the country and around the world, corporate teams, clubs, civic organizations, or just groups of barbecue ‘chefs’ who come together once a year for the festivities.

The barbecue contest is one of the three centerpieces of the Memphis in May International Festival, this year saluting and celebrating the country of South Africa. The month begins with the world-renowned Beale Street Music Festival and ends with a stunning musical tribute to old man river, the Sunset Symphony. In between are cultural exchanges, business meetings, cooking demonstrations, art exhibits and history lessons. The whole city pulls together to entertain residents and visitors gathered throughout town. But the focus of the major events is the riverbank a few blocks from here. Unless you have attended this festival, for music, food or an endless party, you just can’t appreciate it. Nothing else compares, anywhere in the world.

Memphis is the Pork Barbecue Capital of
the World and is noted for its many famous BBQ
restaurants and Memphis in May International
Barbecue Cooking Contest.
Memphis is the Pork Barbecue Capital of the World and is noted for its many famous BBQ restaurants and Memphis in May International Barbecue Cooking Contest.



Document Information
Source: Memphis News Bureau,photo:Ronni Schulz
Last modified: 20050210
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