“May the Stew Be With You” Wanna have some authentic East Texas fun and enjoy all the delicious homemade stew you can eat? Then come to the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest the 4th Saturday in October in Sulphur Springs, TX. Held on the 4th Saturday in October, the cook-off features over 150 4-person cooking teams competing for several thousand dollars of prize money. Cooking over open wood fires, the teams prepare hearty chicken or beef stew in huge cast iron pots. Each team must prepare a minimum of 10 gallons so that there is ample stew for judges and spectators. For $6, spectators may visit as many campsites as time and appetite allow. Some contestants use 20 or even 35-gallon iron stew pots. Last year, the 160 cooking teams who entered fed over 7,000 people. The World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest is the biggest event held in Hopkins County throughout the year… and it’s only getting better with time. Teams entered in the competition start setting up early enough on Saturday to make the 10:30 a.m. deadline for providing samples to the judges. Many teams have begun setting up as early as Friday morning and preparing supper foods such as beans, chili, Dutch oven desserts and more over their campfires for many visitors who tour the stew grounds Friday night. Last year, over 2,000 people were on the stew grounds Friday evening to visit, eat, and reminisce about their favorite memories of the stew contest. Stew is served at 10:45 a.m., but visitors are encouraged to get to the stew grounds early so that they may walk around, enjoy the atmosphere, and witness the cooking of delicious stew. Teams can even compete for “Best Campsite and Costume” and receive cash prizes.