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Home News-Telegram News Chamber's oversized stew pot moved to contest site at Buford Park

Chamber's oversized stew pot moved to contest site at Buford Park

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The oversized stew pot used by the Chamber of Commerce to promote the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest was moved Friday morning to the new site of the competition.

The huge metal pot now hangs in the traffic "V" at the northeast corner of Buford Park, that small section of median that splits Buford Circle as it comes out of the park and merges with League Street.

"It looks awesome," said Chamber President Meredith Caddell.

Because of the location, the cooking pot will serve as a daily reminder of the contest held every year on the last day of the Hopkins County Fall Festival.

This year's contest is shaping up to be as big as it ever has. Caddell said Friday that 121 cooking teams have signed up for this year's contest, the 39th annual edition, scheduled for Sept. 19.

"I'd be happy if we got to 130, but our goal was to get at least 100 teams signed up, so I'm thrilled with that number," Cadell said.

Record numbers of cooking teams and contest spectators have shown up in recent years at the contest when it was held on the Civic Center grounds. But with so many teams competing and other Fall Festival activities going on at the same time as the stew contest, the grounds had become more than a little crowded on that Saturday. That's one reason the contest was moved to Buford Park this year. The stew sites will all be set up along the concrete walking track that surrounds Kids' Kingdom. In addition to offering more room ó stew campsites are more than double in size and have more space between them ó virtually every site is shaded.

Last month, Caddell announced that the teams can camp out at their sites on Friday night, which has also become something of a tradition for many teams.

At least one representative from each cooking team needs to be on hand at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the Southwest Dairy Museum. Contest officials will review rules and answer all questions, as well as distribute ingredient checks to the teams.

Another change this year is the ability to buy tickets for the stew in advance. Anyone can attend the event and stroll the grounds for free, but $5 will buy a bowl and spoon that can be used to all the stew you want from any of the teams (at least until the approximately 1,400 gallons runs out).

For more information, contact the Chamber at 903-885-6515.




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