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MARYVILLE — The Helen Ross McNabb Foundation is excited to bring the Big BBQ Bash back to Founder’s Square in historic downtown Maryville on June 25-26.

The professional barbeque cook-off fundraiser was established as a legacy project by the Leadership Blount Class of 2007 and this marks its seventh year as a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition.

Since its inception, the Big BBQ Bash has raised more than $200,000 and all proceeds from the 2021 competition will benefit the McNabb Center’s military services.

KCBS sanctions barbecue and grilling contests across the U.S. and advocates barbecue as America’s cuisine. Additionally, KCBS has a vast Certified Barbecue Judging program. KCBS is the largest association of barbecue lovers in the world.

The Big BBQ Bash draws more than 30 teams from across the country to compete for $10,000 in cash and prizes, and of course, bragging rights.

Categories include pulled pork, ribs, brisket and chicken. Former Gov. Bill Haslam proclaimed the Big BBQ Bash as a state championship, making the competition a qualifier for the American Royal Barbecue Cook-Off and Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

Teams can choose to sell their award-winning barbecue or save it all for the competition. If teams elect to sell, barbecue will be available for purchase on Friday evening and midday Saturday.

To register a barbecue team or for sponsorship information, visit the event website, www.blountbbqbash.com or contact Lindsay Hughes at 865-329-9031 or Lindsay.hughes@mcnabb.org.

The Big BBQ Bash is a part of Summer on Broadway, a two-day festival with food and activities for the whole family. Admission is free to the public and more information about Summer on Broadway can be found at www.summeronbroadway.net.

The McNabb Center is the region’s leading nonprofit provider of mental health, substance use, social and victim services. By focusing on an individual’s “Well Mind, Well Being,” we provide a quality and compassionate approach to care from infancy through adulthood. Since 1948, the Center has proudly served individuals with the most needs and fewest resources.

Today, the McNabb Center delivers support to more than 30,000 people throughout East Tennessee each year. For more information, visit www.mcnabbcenter.org or call 1-800-255-9711.