The small city of Ruleville in Sunflower County will soon fill with the sights and smells of The Great Ruleville Roast & Run, to be held September 29th and 30th at Rule Park. For these two days, barbecue will be serious business for those participating in the contest, but the festival will offer a weekend filled with activities for local residents and guests.
The Great Ruleville Roast barbecue contest began in 2005, with a 5K Walk/Run added in 2010. This year, the festival’s theme will be “Luau.” The two-day barbecue competition will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Championship and Patio Divisions are sanctioned by the Memphis Barbecue Network, and the event serves as a qualifier for the Delta BBQ Battle. While the barbecue experts begin their masterful work, the Trailer Park Disco Band will perform from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and a fireworks display will thrill young and old alike beginning at 9:45 p.m.
The park opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, but those hungry for a good breakfast are encouraged to support the traditional Ruleville-Drew Rotary Pancake Breakfast, which will be held inside the historic Depot from 6:30 to 9 a.m. The festival fun continues with the 5K Walk/Run, where participants can win awards for their efforts. A Classic Car, Truck, and Tractor Show is also planned, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. and the show beginning at 10 a.m.
In conjunction with the barbecue competition, the Ruleville Chamber of Commerce and Two Brooks Rice Farm are sponsoring a Steak Cook-off with a One Bite Rice Competition beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Awards will be given to those who excel in this Steak Cook-off Association event.
While barbecue and steak competition participants are not allowed to sell their products, there will be plenty of food and fun available at the festival. Entertainment from Boundless Love Gospel Group, Ruleville Central High Band, Delta Blaze Cheerleaders, and Marshall Hopper is scheduled. Children’s activities, food trucks, and the sale of arts and crafts, pottery, woodwork, homemade goods, and more complete The Great Ruleville Roast. In addition, EMA Director for Sunflower County, Benny Grant, will present a fire safety demonstration for families. The event will end with the highly-anticipated Barbecue Awards at approximately 5 p.m. with cash prizes, trophies, and plaques for those who have excelled in their culinary quests.
More information about competition rules is available on the festival’s Facebook page, “The Great Ruleville Roast & Run.”