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Click2Daily: Behind the scenes at World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest

HOUSTON – Thursday starts the 44th annual World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Cooks arrived before 6 a.m. to fire up the grills in preparation for thousands of donors and public guests to feed.

The private tent "Ram's Club" allowed KPRC a behind the scenes look. They expect to feed 6,000 people.

The general public tent "Chuck wagon" is preparing for about 7,000 Thursday and increasing to more than 20,000 visitors on Saturday.

PHOTOS: Behind that scenes at "Ram's Club"

This week 24,000 cases of beer arrived along with thousands of pounds of meat.

The amusement park opens at the same time as the cook-off. The official first day of the Houston Rodeo is Tuesday.

This year six international teams are participating. Two from the United Kingdom, one from Japan, two from Australia and 1 from Mexico.

WATCH: Cookers heat up their Bar-B-Que pits at the World's champion cook off

The event judges on more than the food competitions as well. Specialty awards are chosen for Most Colorful Team, Most Unique Pit, Team Skits, Cleanest Team and Recycling. 

Last year more than 247,000 people attended the event with 36,872 meals served in the Chuckwagon, 37,963 beverages delivered and 12,569 bags of ice used. 

The event's Bar-B-Q Auction Donors gave $123,561 to the auctions. 

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Horses and cattle here for #RodeoHouston

Posted by KPRC2 Haley Hernandez on Thursday, March 2, 2017

Rodeo cookoff taste testing! Howwwwwdy it's early!!

Posted by KPRC2 Haley Hernandez on Thursday, March 2, 2017