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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Each team gets a police escort to the Tupelo BBQ Duel.

This is the seventh year for the KCBS barbecue sanctioned competition and festival, which benefits the Link Centre.

The festival has food, entertainment, marketplace, and obstacle course for kids and the young at heart.

And of course, there’s barbecue.  Eighty teams from 23 states are competing.
The teams are diverse in age and experience. The “Young Hawgers Barbecue Team” is made up of high school students ready to light the grill.

“We’ve been watching my Dad for a couple of years and watching everybody around here.I think we’re going to do good, try our best and learn more technique,” said Zach Clemons, a member of the “Young Hawgers.”

Another local team, “Star Boars” comes every year.

“You know what the secret ingredient to the sauce is? Fun.  We just have fun, we have a good time. Most of these folks take it serious, we don’t take it too serious,” said Bob Druncle.

It is a lot of fun but there is also a serious side, there’s a lot of money on the line. This is actually two competitions in one event.

“A full competition Saturday and a full competition Sunday, over 25 thousand dollars on the line for these guys,” said Melanie Deas, of the Link Centre.

Brad Perkins is with the Neighbors Brewing and Cueing Team from Huntsville, Alabama. He says the Tupelo BBQ Duel is one of his favorite competitions.

“We get to hang out with our friends from North Alabama, make new friends, along the way get to sample some good barbecue, in addition to our own,” Perkins said.

Twenty five percent of the top 100 ranked teams in the nation are competing at the Barbecue Double Duel.

Admission to the event is free, but you can buy a people’s choice ticket and sample some of the barbecue saturday from 11 until around 1.  For more information go to www.tupelobbqduel.com

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