Hundreds of people will gather near the Ross Barnett Reservoir this weekend for the annual Smokin' on the Rez event held at Old Trace Park in Ridgeland.

According to Event Chair Bobby Cleveland, the contest has 11 pro-teams and 12 challenger teams participating.

There will be one winner from both the pro and challenger divisions that will earn not only the title of grand champion and bragging rights for their division but also they'll win prize money as well. The categories for the pro division consist of best ribs, whole hog, and shoulders while the categories for the challenger division are best ribs and pulled pork.

"Out of those three categories, whoever has the highest points in that individual division among ribs, shoulders and whole hog will win grand champion," Cleveland explained. "For the challenger division, to become grand champion you have to win either the ribs or the pulled pork."

Local Ridgeland firefighter John McKinnon, of Fireman John's Barbeque, will be just one of many pros fighting for the title of best whole hog, shoulders and ribs.

"This is the first year of the competition out on the reservoir, and we're starting on Friday afternoon going all the way until Saturday during the judging time," McKinnon said.

"I'll be cooking whole hog, shoulder and rib."

Cleveland added that Friday will also consist of more contests such as best sauce, best grilled chicken and more. For those looking to enjoy a little live music outside of the contest, he added that guests can also enjoy vendor foods, two beer gardens, crafts and performances on the main stage. The Chill will perform on Friday and Temperance Babcock and Bill Ellison, Chris Gill and the Soul Shakers, and Vince Vance and the Valiants will play on Saturday.

Admission to Smokin' on the Rez opens Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Public entry and ticket counters will be located at the entrance to Old Trace Park at Madison Landing parking lot.

Adults tickets are $5 per person on Friday and $10 on Saturday, however two day passes may be purchased on Friday for $10.

Kids under 12 get in free with a paying adult and no outside drinks, coolers, or food will be allowed inside the event.