"We don't have water coming out of our ears," said a grinning Mayor A C Wharton during a visit to the city's cooking tent at Tiger Lane, substitute site for this year's Memphis In May International World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. "They said they would do it come hell or high water and they did."
Some 247 teams are taking part, with only three dropping out, and one of those was from the very busy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The contest was moved from flooded Tom Lee Park, but Memphis in May executive director Jim Holt said plans are to hold the Sunset Symphony on the riverside at the end of May.
Sisters Kathy Lawson and Mary Rodriguez from Lansing, Michigan drove 750 miles. The thought they were going to have to cancel their trip until they saw Wharton on CNN saying that reports of the demise of Memphis were somewhat overstated.
"We heard about it on the Food Network and just had to come," said Lawson, a travel agent. "I just loved seeing all those booths set up."