OKLAHOMA CITY – "Burnt Ends," the inaugural Oklahoma Barbeque Championship, will take place May 24-26 at the Criterion Event Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The event will include local and regional barbeque teams competing for over $12,000 in prize money. The festival atmosphere will include barbeque, craft beer and live entertainment.
The Oklahoma Barbeque Championship will be held in the same weekend as the Big 12 Baseball Championship. Special promotions will include complimentary admission to Burnt Ends for baseball tournament ticketholders.
"What a great addition to Memorial Day weekend in Bricktown," said Tim Brassfield, executive director of Oklahoma City All Sports Association. "Having the barbeque championship held in conjunction with the Big 12 Baseball Championship will give fans more to experience while they are in town. Big 12 Baseball, barbeque and live music sounds like a perfect way to enjoy Memorial Day weekend in downtown Oklahoma City."
The 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Tournament takes place May 23-27 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Oklahoma Barbeque Championship is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. The winner of Oklahoma City's event will advance to the American Royal, the World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City. The Oklahoma Champion will also be eligible to receive an invitation to the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn.
Barbeque organizers have secured the services of Arlie Bragg to coordinate the Oklahoma Barbeque Championship. Bragg is considered one of the premier experts in the competitive barbeque world. Burnt Ends will be one of 12 competitions that Bragg will coordinate this year.
Major event sponsor Prairie Fresh Pork made in Oklahoma by Seaboard Foods will provide free pork product to teams competing in the event. Seaboard Foods will also award additional cash prizes for winning teams in the pork categories using Prairie Fresh products.
"Burnt Ends is much more than a barbeque festival," said Mike McAuliffe, Burnt Ends chairman. "It's an opportunity to showcase Oklahoma's beef, pork and poultry industries, as well as other made in Oklahoma products such as Head Country Bar-B-Q products."
The barbeque championship will also feature a "Backyard Barbeque Competition" with awards and a more flexible format for novice barbeque competitors. Barbeque teams can register online for the Oklahoma Barbeque Championship by visiting the official website at www.okbbqchamp.com.
Burnt Ends will offer a barbeque workshop on Saturday, April 28 for first time and veteran competitors. The workshop will feature World Barbecue Champion David Bouska, pitmaster of Butcher BBQ. Workshop details and registration will be available online.
A portion of the proceeds from the Oklahoma Barbeque Championship supports the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Food for Kids Programs. Last year, the Food for Kids Programs fed nearly 44,000 chronically hungry children in central and western Oklahoma. Every $100 donated through the Championship will ensure a child is fed through a Food for Kids Program, like the Backpack Program, for an entire year.
Major sponsors to date for Burnt Ends include Prairie Fresh Pork by Seaboard Foods, Head Country Bar-B-Q, Anheuser-Busch, VI Marketing & Branding, The Criterion, Culinary Kitchen, Oklahoma Pork Council, Ben E. Keith, OG&E, Ozarka, Warren Cat, Oklahoma City All Sports Association and Phoenix Restoration. If you would like to be a sponsor of the Oklahoma Barbeque Championship, contact Mike McAuliffe at 405-630-7668.