The 27th annual Praise The Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off returns this year bigger than ever. It also welcomes the first Best Bloody Mary Contest sponsored by Brews Brothers Taproom and the return of Townsend Spice Kids’ Cue.

In addition, 17th Street Barbecue will host the World Food Championships’ Super Regional Southern Illinois Showdown on Fri., Sept. 19, and Sat., Sept., 20.

This year, 90 teams from around the country and Germany will compete in one of the barbecue world’s most respected contests. This dual-sanctioned event is equipped with both Memphis Barbecue Network and Kansas City Barbecue Society certified judges reviewing entries for fish, wings, chicken, shoulder, ribs, brisket and of course, whole hog. The three-day competition will include a $25,000 grand prize.

The weekend’s first Bloody Mary Contest sponsored by Brews Brothers Taproom, Red Eye Moonshine and 17th Street Barbecue will take place Sat., Sept. 20. Simply pick up an entry form at Brews Brothers Taproom or 17th Street and throw your hat into the ring. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Murphysboro Food Pantry.

Returning to the Cook-Off will be the Townsend Spice Kids’ Cue. Taking place Sat., Sept. 20, the contest features teams between the ages of 7 to 11-years-old and 12 to 15-years-old, competing for Best Burger. Competitors are provided with 1.5 lbs hamburger meat, charcoal and a mini-grill. 

17th Street Barbecue will also be hosting the World Food Championships Southern Illinois Showdown in conjunction with Praise the Lard. Sixty regional home cooks, chefs and restaurateurs will face off in one of three culinary categories: Bacon, Sandwich and Seafood. The winners in each category will win $1,000 and the top three in each category will receive a Golden Ticket to compete at the WFC event in Las Vegas in November.

Registration for each category is $100 and can be found, along with more details on the event, at

17th Street Barbecue, 32 N. 17th St., Murphysboro, IL, and 2700 17th St., Marion, IL,


Go into the pits with 17th Street Barbecue's Mike Mills and get a step-by-step look at how he makes barbecue magic in our June episode of Emmy-winning Feast TV. Plus, find out what it was like for 17th Street Barbecue's Amy Mills to grow up with a barbecue legend.


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