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Don’t Be Cruel Barbecue Duel Expected to Bring Thousands to Tupelo

TUPELO, Miss.–The Don’t Be Cruel Barbeque Duel starts Friday morning at 10 and goes through Saturday in Tupelo. The event, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, will feature some of the country’s best barbeque teams and entertainment for families.

Organizers expect motel rooms to be booked through the weekend as thousands come to the festival. One hundred barbeque teams will compete, with 20 states represented.

“There’s a sanctioned turn in meat time on Saturday and that’s their big thing,” said Bev Crossin, one of the organizers. “They have certained guidelines as a sanctioned event. The barbeque event is like two events. You have the public side, and then the sanctioned, barbecue ‘village’. That’s where the professional teams are in the back doing their thing.”


She said the public side includes food for sale for both days, with music and entertainment.

Seth Gaines, from the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he wants to see Tupelo continue to do its part to bring visitors to the Magnolia State with events like the Barbecue Duel and the upcoming Craft Beer Festival, plus sporting events that are held routinely in the city.

“We want something on every weekend, if we can find something,” he said. “But then, it’s also the challenge of not putting too much on one weekend.”

The music portion is free, but watching the competition is five dollars.


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