The Jack returns to Lynchburg this weekend

Judges from around the U.S. will converge in Lynchburg on Saturday to judge the 76 teams vying for the coveted Jack. It’s a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event with a Certified Barbecue Judging Program. (Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

For one weekend each year, the tiny town of Lynchburg swells by about 40,000 as folks from Tennessee, the South, and across the United States gather to celebrate all things whiskey and barbecue. The 2021 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue takes place this Friday and Saturday, October 8-9.

The Jack Daniel’s event team cancelled the 2020 event due to public health concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. {To read our complete coverage of that announcement, click here.}

“After much careful thought and consideration, we’ve made the tough decision to cancel this year’s competition,” they stated last June via a social media post. “The health, safety and well-being of our competitors and attendees is our highest priority, and in accordance with current guidelines as well as a desire to maintain The Jack’s status as the premiere competitive BBQ event, we believe this is just the right thing to do.”   

In June of this year, they announced that the Jack would return to the historic Lynchburg Square and Wiseman Park this October though this year, due to international travel restrictions for some teams, the competition would be limited to domestics teams only. {To read our complete coverage of that announcement, click here.}

Seventy-six teams from across the United States will compete in seven categories this weekend including Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.  To qualify, domestic teams must have won a state championship with a minimum of 25 competing teams, or a competition with more than 50 teams battling in the categories of Pork Ribs, Pork Butts, Chicken and Beef Brisket. The final competitors were then selected during a blind drawing of all eligible teams in August.

Additionally, automatic invitations were given to the 2019 Jack Daniel’s Grand Champion, Clark Crew BBQ, as well as this season’s grand champions from Memphis in May, The American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. {To see a complete list of all 76 competitors, click here.)

The Jack isn’t just a barbecue contest for bragging rights – though the winners definitely enjoy that perk. It’s serious business as they compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion and $25,000 in prize money. The Jack is widely considered the world’s most prestigious barbecue competition in many barbecue circles.

On October 9, other activities will include original games such as the Country Dog Contest and Bung and Bag Toss competitions. Games begin Saturday at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Barbecue judging starts at 11:30 a.m., and the awards presentation will take place at 5 p.m. Admission to the 32nd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a voluntary donation to the Moore County School system. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}