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One of the most traditional and highly anticipated events of the SC BBQ Shag Festival every year is the annual Marion "Woody" Curtis BBQ Cookoff. Every year participants both local and from afar come to the festival to participate in the contest to win the grand prize!

Our contest is named after longtime SC BBQ Shag Festival Committee member and head of the cook-off; Marion "Woody" Curtis. We lost our good friend  in October 2017 after a battle with cancer. But we know he will be watching as our participants will be cooking this year. We will always cherish the memories we had and will forever be Woody Strong!

The grand prize for 1st place is $3,000.00! 2nd place will receive $1,500.00, 3rd place will receive $1,250.00, 4th place will receive $1,000.00 and 5th place will receive $750.00.

To register for the BBQ Cook-Off; please register HERE.

Marion "Woody" Curtis

Cook-Off Chair & Friend



1.) Check in with cook-off committee in park area, Friday, March 24, 2023, by 5:00 pm for site assignment. Anyone arriving after 5:00 pm will be assigned a site by the cook-off committee.  Saturday morning Check in will be from 12 am to 4 am.  We encourage everyone to set up and participate Friday Night.


2.) All cooking will be done in a pre-selected assigned site at the park area with an area of 10’ x 10’ per contestant.


3.) Only whole hogs, with or without heads, will be cooked.


4.) Hogs may only be cooked above ground with wood, charcoal, gas, or a combination.


5.) All gas grills must be in sound working condition with no gas leaks. A container must be placed under the grill to catch excess oil and debris. Contestants with faulty equipment will be disqualified.


6.) Each contestant must supply their own supplies: table, chairs, utensils, grill, wood, charcoal, gas, or any other items or materials as the cook sees fit. The only thing the festival committee provides is 30- covered 10’ x 10’ cooking areas and a limited number of open cooking areas, sanitary facilities, and a hog.

Note: The first 30 requesting applicant’s will receive the covered shed spaces unless they note otherwise.


7.) Uniformly dressed hogs will be provided to each contestant. Hogs will weigh approximately 120 lbs. dressed. You will be required to pick up your assigned hog at the festival site during the hours of 12 AM to 4 AM on Saturday, March 25, 2023.


8.) After unloading cooking gear Friday afternoon, parking spaces will be provided for contestants. This will help to eliminate congestion in the cooking area. ONLY ONE PARKING STICKER PER COOKING TEAM WILL BE ISSUED.  COOKERS MUST PARK IN COOKER PARKING AREA.  PLEASE LIMIT THE TRIPS IN AND OUT OF COOKING AREA Assistants will receive a temporary tag that will allow them to unload in the cooking area. After unloading, assistant must find their own parking. All vehicles must be out of the cooking area fence by 6 PM on Friday, March 24 and 4 AM on Saturday March 25. Cooperation is expected and appreciated.

9.) Each contestant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Williamsburg County Health Department including, but not limited to:

            *Pork must be kept at 45 degrees F or less before cooking.

*After cooking, Pork must be maintained at or above 130 degrees F UNTIL WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED.                    

            *Cooks should wear aprons and hats.

            *Cleanliness of cooking area and personnel is required.

            *No pets or small animals are allowed in the cooking area.


10.) All contestants will be briefed on judging procedures at 7:30 PM Friday, March 24 that the cooking site. Procedures include, but are not limited to:

             *Hog must be cooked and displayed in the skin.

             *Cooking apparatus will not be judged.

             *Housekeeping around site will be judged.

             *One point deduction for unclean site.

             *Temperature of hog must be 130 degrees F one hour before sample is taken.

             *Sample takers will take samples to be judged.


11.) Each contestant entry is allowed only one helper in work area during judging.


12.) Samples will be picked up starting at 4:30 PM Saturday, March 25 to be taken to the judges. All hogs must be ready at this time.  Judging should be completed by 6:00 PM. The decision of the judges is final. Violation of any rules or regulations may result in contestant disqualification. THERE WILL BE NO SAMPLING OF THE HOGS BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC BEFORE SAMPLES ARE TAKEN TO THE JUDGING AREA BY THE SAMPLE TAKERS.  WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUCED AT APPROXIMATELY 6:30 PM.


Prize Money Will Be:

1st Place - $3000.00, 2nd Place - $1500.00, 3rd Place - $1250.00, 4th Place - $1000.00, 5th Place – $750.00


13.) Hemingway Town Ordinance prevents alcoholic beverages from being distributed or consumed.


14.) Cookers are expected to maintain cleanliness around their cook site. Cooperation is greatly appreciated.


15.) Cookers must fill out the DHEC permit and return it with their application.


16.) Hog remains are NOT ALLOWED to put in the small trash cans. This includes but not limited to: hog skin, bones, fat, etc. If any competitor is caught violating this rule, they may be subject to a fine by the Hemingway Police Department and/or a competition penalty assessed by the SC BBQ Shag Festival cook-off committee.

Page Updated as of January 22, 2023

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