I spent my Saturday morning judging barbecue in Ashland, MS. This was my second-ever contest and it was a great time. Unlike my first contest in Little Rock, this was a relatively small event. The Little Rock contest had more than 250 teams and is one of the largest events in the country. We had about 40 in Ashland. The practical upshot is that the event had a more relaxed feel and I was able to meet more of the KCBS judges and reps.
The bad: I don't know if it was just my table, but the quality of the barbecue wasn't up to what I had in Little Rock. Not that it was bad, but it wasn't A+ competition quality.
The event is part of Ashland's Springfest which involves a car show and a small carnival. In retrospect, I wish I could have brought the kids; they would have had a great time at some of the different attractions available.
Anyway, if you're interested in good barbecue, visit kcbs.us and look for a barbecue judging class near you. It's a lot of fun.