We are looking forward to another amazing Chamber Good Times Celebration® Barbecue Cook-Off on Thursday, October 5, 2023, and appreciate your help and sponsorship in putting on this HUGE event! (Space is very limited and is filled first with returning sponsors from the previous year, and then is filled on a first-come first-served basis based on sponsorship level.) Please review all of the information below for RULES & REGULATIONS, SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION, HEALTH DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES, etc. BEFORE submitting the form for participation at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind, submission of this online form IS NOT a guarantee of participation in the 2023 event. Space is limited and is filled first with returning sponsors from the previous year, and then is filled on a first-come first-served basis based on sponsorship level. Upon submitting the form below, you will receive a confirmation email and further instructions. Your space is confirmed once we receive your form, signed team agreement (Open & Print Here), and any payment due. Payment for a cash sponsorship is due no later than Friday, September 15, 2023.
Please direct any cook-team questions about this event to Lindsey Arbeiter at (806) 342-2006.
The online entry form (at the bottom of this page), signed agreement (download here) and full payment, must be received by our office prior to the close of business, Friday, September 15, 2023.
RULES & REGULATIONS October 5, 2023
A team will consist of one Head Cook and their 4 assistants not to exceed a total of 5 participants.
The MANDATORY Cook’s Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 5pmoutside on the Chamber Front Steps at 1000 S Polk. One representative out of the 5 on the team must attend this meeting or your cooking space will be forfeited.
Team spaces are limited. All returning sponsor teams will be positioned first by order of commitment, followed by the new sponsor entries. All payments must be received by Friday, September 15th or you will forfeit your cooking space.
Team spaces will be assigned and marked on Tuesday evening, October 3rd.
NO live animals of any kind are allowed on the grounds; if it has fur, if it barks, meows, or growls, if it walks on all-fours, if it requires a collar, a leash, or a cage…leave it at home!
Check in will start at the Tri-State Fairgrounds Entrance Gate #3 near 3rd & Grand ONLY at 9:00am on Wednesday morning, October 4th. Every team must be set up that evening prior to 4:00pm.
Team Night will be the evening of the 4th, from 5:00pm until 8:00pm, your participation is optional.
Cooking area must be kept clean and trash emptied into the containers provided. DO NOTdump cooking oil, grease or coals in the sinks, on the pavement, grass or in the trash cans and dumpsters. Grease containers are provided and you must provide a can for the coals. DO NOT dump ice on the grass. Damage to any of the aforementioned, will result in damage and/or cleanup charges. All props, (hay bales, wood, etc.) must be picked up and your area cleaned immediately following the event.
Each team is obligated to supply and cook enough USDA inspected meat to feed a minimum of 500 people. If you can feed more…Thank you!
Cutting open or dismantling any part of the fence will NOT be tolerated!
Wednesday evening’s activities are not promoted and are not open to the public.
Participants will receive 10 wristbands for the cook team for Wednesday night (5 for the cooks & 5 for their guests).
The gates will be staffed; NO WRISTBAND, NO ENTRY, NO EXCEPTIONS…this includes your cook team!Wristbands for Wednesday are not for sale.
On Thursday, October 5th there will be another mandatory cook meeting at noon in the covered Food Court Area where each team will receive their 5 wristbands for that night. Additional tickets for Thursday are $30 each (all inclusive) and are only available at Panhandle Ticket outlets, the Civic Center Box Office and at www.panhandletickets.com beginning August 14th at noon until 3:00pm on Thursday, October 5th. Tickets after 3:00pm at the gate are $40 each. Wristbands must be on your wrist by 4:00pm each day.
Teams may hand out promotional items, food, products, etc. from their booth ONLY and NOT from any other location or booth. The selling of items or services is NOT permitted.
NOvehicles of any kind are allowed in the cook-off area; all personal vehicles must be unloaded in a timely manner and moved outside the fenced perimeter before 4:00pm both Wednesday & Thursday.
Being a business networking event, small children and strollers are strongly discouraged.
Please share all the information and rules with your company and/or team.
Competition will be held in these categories: beef brisket, pork spare ribs, and other (any other meat). Fruits, vegetables, and road kill will not be judged.
The three divisions to be judged are: Professional, Corporate and Amateur. Only one entry in each category per team will be allowed for judging.
The brisket, ribs and the meat for the other category to be judged must be provided by the team entering the competition. The meat donated to each team from our sponsor; Tyson is NOT to be used for your judged entry. The meat is donated to you to cook and serve the public attending the event on Thursday.
ALL cooking must be done on the premises; no food may be prepared in a private dwelling. All covered cooking devices are permitted; open top grills, holes and pits are not permitted.
Showmanship awards are also presented; each team is encouraged to participate in showmanship.
A total of 30 plaques will be awarded; First (1st), Second (2nd), and Third (3rd) place in showmanship. First (1st), Second (2nd), and Third (3rd) place in each meat category within each division. The winning teams will be listed in the Chamber eNews, the Chamber website and other various publications; space permitting.
The following City Health Code specifications for food storage and handling must be met:
All raw food must be refrigerated; the holding temperature must remain at or below 41 degrees. Therefore, you will be required to store your raw food in one of the 2 refrigerated trucks/reefers provided by the Chamber unless you bring a refrigerated unit. Storage on ice in a cooler is NOT sufficient and not acceptable!
Each team MUST provide their own screened “food preparation” area to participate. The seasoning, marinating and the cutting of all food must be performed in a screened area…no exceptions!
After cooking; the food items MUST be maintained in a covered warming container and maintained at 135 degrees.
Cleanliness of the cooking team and cooking area is REQUIRED:
Eating, Drinking and Smoking are strictly prohibited in the team spaces.
Clean hands and single service gloves are a must.
Your preparation area MUST be screened to prevent the flies from contacting your food items. Keep your screen/tent securely zipped.
Handle all utensils; especially plastic flatware by the handles only.
All single serve items (plates, napkins, etc.) must be covered for protection.
The cooking team must serve the food items, DO NOT allow anyone to “help themselves” to your food items.
A mild solution of bleach water is a must for the storage of your wiping towels.
An approved sanitizer will be required. The label will indicate if it is approved for use by a food establishment. Household disinfectants like “409” and “Lysol” are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as sanitizers and cannot be used at temporary food events.
You must provide a hand washing station; consisting of a clean water container with a spigot and a tub/bucket to catch the gray water.
Teams must have 3 tubs; for washing, rinsing & sanitizing dishes/utensils. Along with a 10-gallon container of clean water to change out the dirty water in the tubs. A sink with hot and cold running water and a trailer equipped with hot and cold running water and a wastewater tank are also provided.
Wastewater must be disposed of properly…not dumped on the pavement or grass. You must use the sink or the wastewater tank available at the Tri-State Fairgrounds. Specific location will be announced prior to team move-in.
Each team must have their own 5lb. ABC or K-Class fire extinguisher; easily accessible.
Participants must provide all needed equipment; cooker, canopy, tables, storage and serving supplies, utensils, etc. All participants will be provided with access to electricity and must supply heavy-duty electrical cords and must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes of the City of Amarillo.
Sponsorship banners for approved display outside your designated paid cooking space are not to exceed 8’ in length or 3’ in height and are limited as follows: $1,750 sponsors x2 and $1,000 sponsors x1.
All banners for display outside your designated cooking space are to be given to the Chamber staff several days prior to the event. Banners will be hung by the Chamber staff and all unauthorized banners will be removed.
The Chamber must approve the use of all props, banners, tents, canopies, games, etc. prior to the event. Props, banners, tents, canopies, games or any other equipment may NOT exceed the boundaries of your designated paid cooking space. Excessive music, firearms or any other explosive noise producing pyrotechnics are not allowed so they do not to disturb the other cooking teams or their property.
Everyone on your team MUST adhere to these rules. Abusing any of the rules is punishable by expulsion from the event of everyone connected with the guilty person(s), business and/or cooking team.
SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE: As a sponsor, your team will be included in all publicity; all Chamber publications, the Chamber website, a listing on Chamber Barbecue poster, your logo on the Chamber sponsor banner, and more. The cook team will receive; 10 wristbands for Wednesday night and 5 wristbands for the Cook-Off on Thursday, plus the following depending on the level of sponsorship:
$1,750 PACKAGE (Gold Sponsor)
Cooking team space in a prime location
20 additional admission wristbands to Team Night on Wednesday
30 tickets to the Barbecue on Thursday
Option to provide a logo’d promotional item to the cook’s bags
Opportunity to bring 2 corporate banners
$1,000 PACKAGE (Silver Sponsor)
Cooking team space
10 additional admission wristbands to Team Night on Wednesday
10 tickets to the Barbecue on Thursday
Opportunity to bring 1 corporate banner
Additional tickets for Thursday can be purchased in advance through any PanhandleTickets outlet for $30 or at the gate after 3:00pm on the day of the event for $40. Tickets are not for sale at the Chamber office.
Additional Wednesday night wristbands are not available.
To be recognized on the printed material as a sponsor, your company logo must be sent to email@example.com in a high-resolution jpg, png, or pdf file by Friday, September 8th.
The online entry form (at the bottom of this page), signed agreement (download here) and full payment, must be received prior to the close of business, Friday, September 15, 2023.
We must know what division you will be competing in on the form below. Cooks will receive their judging containers (styrofoam to-go boxes) at the mandatory head cook's meeting at noon on the day of the event. Boxes will be labeled with the Division, Category, and Turn-In Time and will include an affixed envelope with a 2-part numbered ticket inside. Before turning in your entry, tear the 2-part ticket in half and put one half in the envelope, sealed and attached to your container. Put the other half in a safe place with a responsible person who will be in attendance of the awards presentation at 7pm on the day of the event. Be sure to include eight (8) servings/ribs/slices in your container for judging. Garnish/sauces/decorations are ONLY allowed in the "OTHER" category entries. Be sure your container closes completely. Your entry must be turned in to the covered Food Court Area at the Tri-State Fairgrounds within 5 minutes before or after the scheduled turn-in time. Entries outside of that window will not be judged.
OTHER (Other Meat) – any meat will be accepted, including baby back ribs. However; fruit, vegetables, and road kill are not. Garnish, sauces and decorations such as parsley are acceptable in this category only.
RIBS (Pork Spare Ribs) – meat only; no sauce other than what’s cooked on the ribs, no baby backs, no decoration or garnish.
BRISKET – meat only; sliced no thicker than a #2 pencil, no sauce other than what’s cooked on the brisket, no decoration or garnish.
Other, Ribs, and Brisket entries should look good, smell good, and taste good!!!
Each Other entry, every Rib and each slice of Brisket will be judged on its own merit and not in comparison with any other entry.
Accordingly, each sample of the Other entry, each Rib, and each slice of Brisket, is judged on five (5) criteria to arrive at one whole number score of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
THE FIVE CRITERIA
JUDGING ENTRIES (How much to put in your judging container.) 8 Other Servings 8 Ribs 8 Brisket Slices
TURN IN TIMES Take your entry to the covered Food Court Area at the Tri-State Fairgrounds, and be sure to take your half of the claim ticket from the envelope on the entry box!
2:30pm - OTHER
3:30pm - RIBS
4:30pm - BRISKET
WINNERS Awards will be presented to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category within each division. Certificates will be awarded for honorable mention places of 4th through 10th. The presentation of the awards will be held the covered Food Court Area at the Tri-State Fairgrounds at approximately 7:00pm. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR TICKET STUBS for each entry to claim any prizes or certificates.
SHOWMANSHIP JUDGING CRITERIA (Optional)
A fun way to bring attention to your cooking team space and promote your business is to participate in the Showmanship competition during the barbecue cook-off with decorations, costumes and more. Awards will be presented for the top 3 teams based on:
Showmanship must be done in good taste; no excessive music, no live animals and no firearms or any other explosive noise producing pyrotechnics.
Teams will be limited to their own cooking spaces, so as not to interfere with other participants.
Showmanship judging will take place after 3pm on Thursday; the day of the barbecue by a group of anonymous volunteer judges.
Awards will be presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the covered Food Court Area at the Tri-State Fairgrounds at approximately 7pm, Thursday.
PREVIOUS YEAR'S WINNERS
Click here to view the list of last year's winners in each division and category.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES
AMARILLO BI-CITY-COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT Amarillo, Canyon, Potter County, Randall County CITY OF AMARILLO, P. O. Box 1971, Amarillo, TX, 79105-1971
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH 808 S. Buchanan | 806-378-9472 | FAX: 806-378-3585 | TDD: (806) 378-4229
Temporary Event Check List
When participating in a Temporary event ensure the following:
All cold foods must be held at 41F or below
If the event is longer than 4 hours, a mechanical refrigerator is needed for cold holding.
All hot foods must be held at 135F or above
All foods must be cooked to the proper temperature
Ground Meat- 155F
Fish, Meat, Pork , Eggs- 145F
All foods must be prepared on site or at a permitted location unless alternative location is approved, permitted, and inspected by the E.H. Department. NO FOODS CAN BE PREPARED OR COOKED AT HOME
All foods and food service items must be stored at least 6” off the ground
Hair must be restrained.
Floor of booth must be concrete, or asphalt, painted/sealed wood, metal or a tarp must be laid down and cover the entire booth. (no grass or dirt)
Sanitizer test strips are needed if sanitizer buckets are being used.
Hand washing Station- This must consist of a container with a spigot and a catch bucket for gray water. No hand washing station is required when only commercially pre-packaged food is being provided.
Soap and Paper Towels
Spare utensils or basins set up for washing utensils. If basins are used there must be 3, one for washing, rinsing and sanitizing.
All events with outdoor booths that take place between June1- November 1 must be fully screened in where food preparation takes place. If you have any questions prior to the event please call our office at (806) 378-9472.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why must my booth be screened in and what part of my booth is required to be screened in? The requirement to screen in a "food preparation" area is set forth in 228.222(k)(1-3) of the 2015 Texas Food Establishment Rules. These rules actually require this screening to be used year round but allows for municipalities to modify this requirement based on the absence of flying insects. The City of Amarillo has adopted the June 1-November 1 time frame due to this being fly season in the geographical area. To clarify, the food preparation area is only where actual food preparation is being conducted on site; E.g. Slicing or cutting meats, wrapping burritos, cutting vegetable and so on and so forth. Once the food preparation has been completed in an area that is screened in then it can be removed and placed in a serving location in covered pans for example. The serving area must still have at minimum overhead protection.
What is a temporary food establishment? Per the Texas Food Establishment Rules: §228.2 (135) (143) Temporary food establishment--A food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.
Why do I need a temporary permit? Per City of Amarillo Municipal Code, Sec. 8-5-16:
Any person or association whether incorporated or unincorporated who operated a Food Establishment at a fixed location for a period of time no more than fourteen (14) consecutive days in conjunction with a single event of celebration shall obtain a Temporary Permit for each separate location prior to the commencement of any such operation.
A permit for a temporary Food Establishment is required for each day and each booth. Failure to obtain a Temporary Permit when required constitutes an offense in accordance with Section 8-5-4 of this code.
Why do I need a temporary permit if I am only giving away water? If you are providing any type food, which is defined in the 2015 Texas Food Establishment Rules as “A raw, cooked, or processed edible substance, ice, beverage, or ingredient used or intended for use or for sale in whole or in part for human consumption, or chewing gum” to the general public then per the City of Amarillo Municipal Code, Sec. 8-5-16 you must obtain a temporary permit.
Information Updated October 2016
HEALTH DEPARTMENT PACKET & PERMIT
Click here to view, print or download more information from the Health Department and what is required, how food makes you sick, a sample booth layout, serving the public and more.
The Chamber will submit the proper paperwork to the City Health Department for the permits for all cooking & participating teams. You will need to include a list of all of the foods and beverages you will serve (or will potentially serve) on the form below or by the September 15th deadline if you are uncertain of the items right now.