Memphis In May Officials Clear Tom Lee Park During BBQ Fest Due To Weather

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( - Severe weather, including lightning strikes, forced Memphis in May officials to close the gates of the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest at Tom Lee Park for a while Friday.

This is all came down to safety. There were cheers when the green light was given and people could walk back through the barriers.

Local 24 spoke to organizers, who said they asked crowds to leave because of the concern over lightning. The weather warning was in effect since about two hours. Police and security went through the park asking people to leave.

That meant a lot of people had to leave their BBQ posts for about two hours.

“For safety purposes, they asked us to vacate the premises,” said Brian of Grilla Grills. “Just keep a skeleton crew at our tent and cook site and asked everyone else to leave for our safety."

Some teams have taken to twitter complaining about their 2:00 p.m. turn in time, saying their products, like wings and smaller items have been ruined.


Memphis in May officials say they are working with those teams and that turn in time will be rescheduled for Saturday so teams can rework their product.















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