Barbecue Cook-Off Registration


The annual Come-See-Me Barbeque Cook-Off will held at the beautiful Winthrop University Lake and is open to the public. Four-person teams will compete for the title of “Best Barbeque at Come-See-Me!”


Ribs Entry Fee

  • Must provide your own ribs.
  • Final deadline for entries is Friday, April 5, 2024.
  • Rib Cook-off date:  April 20, 2024.


Register Now

Contestants participate in Anything But Butts on Friday and the Barbeque Cookoff on Friday/Saturday (see Judging & Awards for more information).

All barbeque meat (butts) will be retained for sale at the Come-See-Me Tailgate Party on Saturday, April 20, 2024 beginning at 3p.m. until sold out.

Contestants may also enter the optional “Ribs” category. Participating teams will provide their own ribs and pay a $25 entry fee. Winner payouts will be 100 percent of entry fees.

All payments are due at time of registration.

Cooking Instructions and Rules

Barbeque for the contest may be prepared using wood, gas, or charcoal cookers, and the teams may prepare and cook the pork in any fashion they prefer, so long as it is suitable to be served to the public. The teams must prepare the barbeque on-site at the venue. Teams are to chop or pull their meat and put in pans provided for sale by Come-See-Me. You must wear gloves, chop the pork under a covering, and have a hand-washing station.

The Festival will furnish the butts, which teams may pick up at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Each team will have a total cooking area no larger than 25′ x 25′. No two-story structures are allowed, and no on-site expansion beyond the allotted area is allowed. All belongings must be entirely contained within the 25′ x 25′ area. Please respect the University’s property and be careful not to damage any landscaping or other property. No pets are allowed.

Each team must supply their own ingredients, grill, tools, and any materials needed by the team. While electrical power will be provided for cooking equipment, you must use a generator for personal power needs (i.e., camper).

Teams may not sell or distribute any form of beverages to the public, including alcoholic beverages. Team members should be discreet with use of alcoholic beverages on the premises, and are to respect the rights of others with special regard to music volume, profane language, and infringement on adjoining sites. Team members must conduct themselves in a professional manner or may be asked to leave.

Registration at Venue

Each team must register upon arrival at the Come-See-Me information booth located at Winthrop University Lake on Friday, April 19, 2024. The team’s number and cooking area assignment will be issued then. All head cooks must attend a cook’s meeting Friday evening at 5 p.m. at the venue. The location will be confirmed at time of check-in.

Judging & Awards

Judging will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2023 and will be conducted by the SC Barbeque Association. Judging rules will be explained further at the cook’s meeting Friday evening. The head cook shall be the team member permitted to present the barbeque during the judging process.

Friday evening, April 19, 2024: Anything but Butts Night. Judging by the Come-See-Me celebrity judges will begin at 6:30 p.m. with sales to the public beginning immediately after.

  • Anything but Butts Prize: Plaque and $300
  • Second Place: Ribbon and $150
  • Third Place: Ribbon and $75
  • People’s Choice: Free entry to 2023 event

Teams are required to provide and cook anything but butts for this night. The entry fee for this event is included. Teams should be prepared to provide small samples for at least 200 people to taste. Samples are to be prepared on site, no desserts please. Samples will be judged by Come-See-Me representatives and winners awarded around 9 p.m. Friday evening.

Saturday morning, April 20, 2024: Come-See-Me Barbeque Cook-Off. Blind judging will begin when determined by the Barbeque Marshall on Saturday, no later than 10 a.m.


  • First Place: Trophy and $1,000
  • Second Place: Trophy and $700
  • Third Place: Trophy and $400
  • Fourth Place: Plaque and $250
  • Fifth Place: Plaque and $225

Ribs (Provide your own ribs): 100 percent of entry fees awarded

  • First Place: 50 percent of entry fees
  • Second Place: 30 percent of entry fees
  • Third Place: 20 percent of entry fees
Clean-up & Exiting

Teams are required to clean up their assigned cooking areas and return the site to pre-competition conditions. The area must be cleaned before 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2024, and the head cook will be responsible for fulfilling this requirement.

For the safety of our event attendees, teams not staying for the remainder of the Tailgate Party and Fireworks Extravaganza (from 3 to 10 p.m.) will be required to vacate the premises no later than 2:30 on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Anyone failing to leave by the designated time will be required to remain until all Come-See-Me guests have left the venue.

How to Apply

Register and pay online on or before Friday, March 15th to receive the early registration discount. Final registration deadline is Tuesday, April 5th. Entries must be postmarked by that date to be considered; the competition is limited to a total of 30 teams. You do not have to be a member of the South Carolina Barbeque Association to participate.

Come-See-Me Festival reserves the right to reject any application. If your application is not accepted, your money will be refunded. However, no refunds will be made after you have been accepted into the contest. All photos taken of your team become the property of the Come-See-Me Festival and may be used for promotional purposes without your prior consent.

Contestants agree to indemnify and hold the Come-See-Me Festival and Winthrop University, its employees, agents, sponsors, and volunteers harmless from any and all claims made against Come-See-Me Festival and Winthrop University, its employees, agents, sponsors, and volunteers, including, without limitation, all costs, liabilities, judgments, expenses, damages, or reasonable attorney’s fees arising out of or in connection with (1) any structure erected by the contestants, (2) any apparatus, equipment, or personal property used by contestants (3) any act of omission on the part of the contestants, its agents, invitees, participants, representatives, employees, and servants, and (4) any claims made on account of or resulting from contestants’ participation in the contest.

Cook-off dates: April 19 & 20, 2024

Barbeque sales:  Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 3 p.m. until sold out.

Location: Winthrop University Lake, 1162 Eden Terrace – Rock Hill, South Carolina

For additional information, please e-mail us at [email protected] or contact Jim Armour at 1-800-681-7635

The Barbecue Cook-Off registration period has ended.