Sanders has been building the grand champion trophies for more than 19 years, long enough to forget how she got involved in making them, and has decided that this will be the last year that she creates the one of a kind trophy.
“It’s been fun but I think it’s time for some new ideas,” said Sanders. “What I think would work best for the history, and to keep it something special, is to get a newer, more creative spin on the whole thing.”
To find a new artist to make the trophy, Sanders suggests that the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the festival, turn it into a competition at the Delta State Art Department and offer a commission to the person who is chosen to create the trophy.
The participants would present drawings of their proposed design to be judged and a winner would be selected.
All of the trophies that Sanders has created are made of mostly plywood and moldings and takes around 30 hours to build and finish.
The trophies are all a deviation of her original Grand Champion Trophy, changing the tones, colors, and shape each year to keep the trophy original.
A metal rod that goes through the center of the trophy stabilizes the trophy and allows the trophy to be disassembled to make repairs if needed.
A pig statue made exclusively for Octoberfest by Peter Woods of Peter’s Pottery tops off the trophy.
Main Street Manager Anne Dilworth said, “This is the most coveted trophy in the Memphis Barbecue Network circuit and every year it’s different. It’s always a work of art and I don’t think people realize how much work goes into making one.”