Kevin Buckley and Kevin O'Riordan at a Riverfest BBQ. The world championship is coming to Limerick
LIMERICK has beaten Rome to the right to host the World BBQ Association World Championship later this year.
The largest international BBQ competition of its kind will see 100 teams from around the world descend on Limerick in October, generating an estimated 1,200 bednights in the process for the city.
The event will take place in People’s Park from October 13-15, with teams competing for the ultimate titles of World Grand Champion and Reserve World Grand Champion.
BBQ experts from South America, Africa, Europe, the USA, India and Australia are expected to attend, generating a boost to the local economy in the order of €500,000.
Limerick has regularly played host to a BBQ competition as part of the annual Riverfest and securing the right to host such a high profile event of this nature is seen as being prestigious for the city.
Tony Brazil, Chairman of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, said it was "real and it is happening and it is great news for Limerick.
"This is a big event and we haven't seen the like of it here before. Yes, we have had BBQ competitions before on a more national level, but this is different. These BBQ championships are very upmarket and prestigious and we are grateful to Pat O'Sullivan - president of the world BBQ association - for bringing it to Limerick and to Pat Daly in the council for his support.
“Not only is this a great honour for the region, and Ireland as a whole, but it will provide a substantial economic boost for Limerick.
“We expect competitors and spectators to extend their stay around the event to see our wonderful Wild Atlantic Way and all the region has to offer. It will provide great opportunities for businesses of all kinds if they prepare for it and make our international visitors welcome.
“Creating this experience of a lifetime, can in turn attract larger numbers of visitors in the long term, from word of mouth,” he added.
Miriam Kennedy of Failte Ireland said: “Having beaten off stiff competition from Rome, we are delighted that Limerick was chosen as the 2017 host destination.
“This event will bring together the best bbq’ers in the world ranging from Michelin starred chefs to backyard enthusiasts.
“Once again Ireland will be on the world stage when it comes to hosting international events,” she added.