The city of Memphis will feel the heat once again Spring 2024 as the annual World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival (WCHWCF®) fills Memphis with the tantalizing aroma of the infamous hot wing.
For the annual WCHWCF there will be approximately 100 team spaces which will be guaranteed on a first-come, first served basis. Extensions or announcements for additional space may be allowed at the discretion of management, but cannot be guaranteed.
Team Application 2024
Rules & Regulations
Hot wing defined – a hot wing is defined as any piece of the wing, drummie or flat or a full wing: drummie, flat and flap, cooked, flavored and seasoned.
World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival Rules
The wings for contest entry may not be pre-cooked, sauced, or maintained in any way prior to inspection at the beginning of the cooking contest. Use of anything pre-cooked, pre-sauced, pre-marinated, and/or pre-brined shall result in disqualification. The meat inspection will be at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the event. Again please do not start cooking or seasoning your wings until the meat inspection is complete. Please see below the judging rules for further information.
- Each contestant shall supply all of their meat, cooking ingredients, individual cooking devices (propane or charcoal), utensils, preparation tables, etc.
- The only thing provided to contestants by the World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival is a regulation cooking area.
- There is a mandatory cooks meeting that will be held prior to the competition, and a representative for your cooking team must be present at this meeting.
- Each contestant may have as many assistants as necessary. Any cook or assistant that handles food in any way must be at the mandatory cooks meeting.
- Each contestant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department including, but not limited to the following:
- Meat must be at 35° or less before cooking. Coolers with plenty of ice will keep it cold enough.
- There will be a team judging meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Judging Tent.
- After cooking, the meat must be at a temperature of 140° until submitted to the judges at 1:00 p.m. on the day of the event.
- The first judging will be at 1:00 p.m. for the 30 teams competing. The top 36 teams will be notified by the Judging Committee. The second round of judging will be at 4:00 p.m. for the top 36 teams. The winners will be announced at 6:00 p.m. on the main stage.
- Cleanliness of the cook, assistants, and contestant’s area is required.
- No live animals are allowed in the cooking area.
- Each team MUST have hand cleaning capabilities. Soap and water or waterless hand cleaner are acceptable.
- Teams are available to set up at dates and times to be determined. The World Championship Hot Wing Festival & Contest will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. The streets must not have any vehicles present at this time in order to keep our pedestrians safe.
- Vehicles will be allowed to “load-in” in the cooking area during the designated loading times which will be provided by the event staff and coordinators in the mandatory cooks meeting.
- Vehicles will not be allowed back in the cooking areas after the contest for “load-out” until the last band has finished performing. The area will be blocked off by security until then.
- No live bands, or combos, etc., will be allowed in the individual cooking areas at any time during the event.
- Restrooms will be available in designated areas.
- Children must be supervised at all times during the festival.
- Trash bags will be provided by each contestant. A dumpster for trash will be on-site. Contestants will be responsible for cleaning up their area after the contest. Trash must be placed in the dumpster, not next to it.
- Teams must discard used oil from their cookers at the designated receptacles that will be provided at the event.
- The World Championship Hot Wing Festival & Contest committee reserves the right to reject any application. If your team’s application is not accepted, your fees will be refunded. No refunds of entry fees will be made once you have been accepted into the contest whether your team participates or not.
- Space is guaranteed for the first 100 paid applications accepted by the World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival Committee.
- It is the responsibility of each team to see that the contest area is cleaned and all equipment removed from the site following the contest. If there is unnecessary trash, the team may be disqualified from any future World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival contests.
- The team captain will be held responsible for the conduct of their team and their guests. Under no circumstances are alcoholic beverages to be distributed (given or sold) to the general public by the teams or its contestants. The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival Committee requests and requires that good taste be used with team conduct during the contest.
- Team areas will be assigned closest to the stage by the order of receipt of paid entry.
- Team booths may not block the sidewalks in any way. This area is designated for all emergency, fire, police, and ambulance personnel.
- Each team should provide their own bucket of sand for cigarette butt disposal within their individual team area.
- Violations of rules and regulations of the contest will result in disqualification, expulsion, and or disqualification from future participation in the festival.
- Read and keep these rules of the World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival. If there are any questions or concerns immediately contact the World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival for clarification.
- NO DRONES ALLOWED.
- No glass containers, only plastic and aluminum allowed inside the festival area, or in personal cooking areas.
- The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival will not be responsible for tents or other equipment left unattended before, during, or after the contest.
- All teams must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes, by the city, county, state and federal codes. Each team must have a fire extinguisher with a 2a, 40bc rating. Please check and make sure they are charged. All tarps must be fire retardant with a certification stating so. The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival cannot provide electrical power for your area. Contestants may not sell food.
- The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival reserves the right to make additional regulations as situations warrant decisions.
- Any questions regarding these rules and guidelines or judging rules should be addressed immediately to the World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival Committee.
Causes for Disqualification and/or Eviction
- A cook team is responsible jointly and severally for its head cook, its team members, and its guests.
- Excessive use of alcoholic beverages or public intoxication with a disturbance.
- Use of illegal controlled substances.
- Foul, abusive or unacceptable language or any language causing a disturbance.
- Excessive noise, including but not limited to that generated from speakers, such as radios, CD players, TVs, public address systems, or amplifying equipment, will not be allowed during designated quiet hours (if applicable).
- Fighting and/or disorderly conduct.
- Theft, dishonesty, cheating, or use of prohibited meats or any act involving moral turpitude.
- Violation of any of the Kansas City BBQ Society cook’s rules.
- Excessive or continued complaints from teams on any of the above rule infractions shall be considered grounds for immediate disqualification from festival organizers.