Stew contest teams have until Friday to claim sites
From Staff Reports
August 27, 2008 - Veterans of the 2007 World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest have until Friday to reserve the same cooking sites as last year.
If they don't, the stew sites will be up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis the day after Labor Day.
"Remember, on September 2nd, any unclaimed stew sites become available for new cooks or any other cooks that may want your spot," said Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce President Meredith Caddell.
Caddell said last week that this year's edition of the stew competition -- the 38th year it has been held -- is on pace to be as lively as last year's. In 2007, the total number of cooking teams that signed up hit 121, shattering the previous record for competitors.
As of Aug. 21, more than 60 teams had already registered for the stew contest, which will be held the morning of Saturday, Sept. 20, on the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center grounds. Entries are usually accepted until the last days before the contest, but Caddell urges teams to sign up as soon as possible.
A few rules to remember:
Teams can have no more than two cooks and two helpers, but at least one member must be a Hopkins County resident. Entry fees are $150 -- usually paid by a team sponsor -- with $100 returned to the team to buy ingredients. Team members can pick up their ingredient checks at a Sept. 15 cook's reception at the Southwest Dairy Center.
The teams must use USDA-approved meat and cook their stew in large cast iron pots over a hard-wood fire -- no pine or other soft wood -- which the teams furnish. Teams must cook a minimum of 10 gallons of stew.
First, second and third place winners get plaques and $300, $150 and $150 in the beef and chicken stew categories. First and second in the Super Stew, made up of past stew contest victors, get $400 and $250. For more information drop by Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Houston St., or call 903-885-6515.