Register Now for 48th Annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest

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Letters have gone out to those who prepared stew for last year’s Hopkins County Stew Contest. Those who desire to cook stew for the 48th Annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest, Saturday October 28th may sign up now. A copy of the rules and registration form may be found below.  Chamber Executive Lezley Brown says an overwhelming response from those wanting to be a part of the stew contest this year has already begun.

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New this year…  if you have cooked before, you may pick up your goody bags and grocery check on October 17th at the Dairy Museum between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.  This will be a come and go reception style, and you will not need to stay for the cook meeting.  If you have not cooked before, there will be a small orientation at 6 p.m. on October 17th at the Dairy Museum.  A review the rules and receiving your goody bags and grocery checks will follow.   Also, you will be able to purchase t-shirts at the cook reception on October 17th.  The t-shirts will be available to take home that evening.  You may order hoodies and long sleeved t-shirts that night, and they will be ready for pick-up before the stew contest.  For more information contact the  Chamber at (903) 885-6515, or visit the Chamber website at

World Champion “Hopkins County Stew” Contest

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rules and Regulations

All cooking teams: please be mindful and considerate of your neighbors. All sites MUST set up 5 feet off the sidewalk to allow ample walking room. This should be plenty of room for everyone, so please do not invade someone else’s site.  Also, please remember that this is a cooking contest, and pets are not allowed at the cooking sites.

All 2016 Cooks will have the same site as in 2016, and they will be reserved until September 15th @ 5:00 p.m. at the Chamber office.  As in the past, on September 18th all sites will be released to other contestants on a first-come, first-served basis.

New participants may select their stew site on or after September 18.At least one of the cooks on a cooking team must live or work in Hopkins County.  The “cooking team” consists of up to two cooks and up to two helpers.


Sponsors provide $175.00 with the official entry form for one pot of stew (or two sponsors at $87.50 each).  Each cooking team will receive $125.00 to purchase their ingredients.  $50.00 is retained by the Chamber of Commerce for contest expenses.  We now accept Visa and MasterCard. The $125.00 ingredient check may be picked up at the “Cooking Team” come-and-go reception, which will be held on October 17th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Dairy Museum.  At least ONE person from each team must come to the reception.  Checks will be distributed at that time. First time stew cooks will attend a short informational meeting at 6:00 p.m. then receive their goody bags and checks.

Stew MUST BE prepared on site.  Meat may be cooked ahead of time, but everything else must be prepared on site.  Stew will be judged on the original Hopkins County Stew recipe and flavor. If extra ingredients are added, there will be a deduction, but it will not eliminate the stew from winning. You may use condiments and spices as desired. The original Hopkins County recipe includes chicken (or beef), potatoes, tomatoes, corn, onions.

COOKING TEAMS MUST USE USDA-APPROVED MEAT. For uniformity and authenticity, the cooking team    must use a large cast iron pot over a hardwood fire.  Please do not use pine or other soft wood.  Cooking teams furnish     their own wood.

Cooking teams are allowed ONE vehicle on the campsite UNTIL 6:30 AM the day of the contest.  At that time, ALL vehicles must be moved.  Violators WILL NOT be judged if vehicles are not removed from the stew contest grounds by 6:30 AM. Each cooking team will receive ONE parking permit, so that one may vehicle may park in the swimming pool parking lot.  The small parking lot on League Street will be used for loading and unloading ONLY (20 Minutes).  There will be NO parking in the small League Street Lot.  It will also be closed at 6:30 AM the day of the contest.  Also, NO CAMPERS may be parked along Buford Circle. 

Cooking teams must have a minimum of 10 gallons of finished stew available for sale.  All stew becomes the property of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce to be sold.

Stew MUST be ready for judging at 10:45 AM.  Cooking teams will supply TWO quarts of stew.  The quart containers will be provided.  One quart will be turned in at the judge’s tent at 10:45 AM for judging.  The second quart will be held by the cooking team for potential sale of the top twelve winners.  AFTER the winners in each category have been announced, quarts of stew will be for sale to the public at the service tents.   When you run out of stew, please hang the “Out of Stew” sign, provided by the Chamber, over your empty pot. In the event of rainy weather, a drive-thru will be available.  The Chamber will collect your second quart only if it is raining.Cooking teams should serve ONLY ticketed customers.  Tickets are $5.00 each.  FRIENDS AND FAMILY DO NOT EAT FREE; cooking teams who violate this rule will be disqualified from judging.   Each team will be given two bowls for the cooks.

For health reasons, only the Styrofoam quarts, bowls, and plates which are provided with the purchase of a $5.00 ticket may be used.

For health reasons, cooks must clean their pots. Do not use a dirty stew pot. Do not use non-food-safe materials to clean your stew pot, such as diesel or abrasive chemicals.

Each cooking team is responsible for and required to furnish a sign (approximately 18” X 24”) recognizing their sponsor(s). A sponsor’s logo or sign may be used as long as they meet the size requirements. Nothing may be sold or distributed from a stew site except stew.

Outline of Prizes:

1st Place  Chicken & Beef Stew $300.00 & Trophy         1st Place Super Stew Chicken & Beef      $500.00 & Trophy

2nd Place Chicken & Beef Stew  $150.00 & Trophy         2nd Place Super Stew Chicken & Beef      $250.00 & Trophy

3rd Place  Chicken & Beef Stew $100.00 & Trophy         3rd Place Super Stew Chicken & Beef          $100.00 & Trophy         Campsite/Costume                      $200.00 & Trophy        Super Campsite/Costume                       $250.00 & Trophy

The check for grocery reimbursement is in the Cook goody bags, which will be distributed at the come-and-go reception on October 17th at 6:00 p.m. If your check is not in the bag, it is because we have not received payment from your sponsor. If you do not plan to cash this check and use it for groceries, please return it to the Chamber. Turning in your check helps keep bookkeeping straight.


Complete this form and return to the Chamber of Commerce by September 15th to keep your 2016 stew site.  On September 18th, all unreserved sites will be released to new contestants and those who wish to change sites, on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Please fill in ALL information

Cook #1 Name_________________________________________Phone_________________________

 Address______________________________________ City, State, Zip_________________________

Email Address________________________________________________________________________

 Cook #2 Name_________________________________________Phone_________________________

 Address______________________________________ City, State, Zip_________________________

 Email Address________________________________________________________________________



Category:  Chicken ______     Beef ______ (Please check one)


Super Stew: Chicken______   Beef______ Year qualified for Super Stew_____


How many years have you participated in the stew contest? ____________


Campsite/Costume Judging: ____Yes (Wish to be judged) ____No (Do Not Wish to be judged)


Sponsor(s)  __________________________________   ________________________________________


Address     ___________________________________   ________________________________________


City, State ___________________________________   ________________________________________


Phone        ___________________________________   ________________________________________


Please mail your entry form & check to: Chamber of Commerce, 300 Connally Street, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Entry deadline October 6, 2017.

 We now accept Visa and MasterCard.


For Chamber of Commerce Use Only:                                               Site #____________________


Date:______________________ Invoice #____________________ Check #__________________


Credit Card #____________________________________  Exp. Date: ______________________


Cook’s Check #__________________________________  Sign Made:______________________

Author: Staff Reporter

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