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Sturgis rally adds new burger battle event with $10,000 purse

STURGIS, S.D.—While motorcycle riding season appears far away with the popular Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, organizers have announced a major new event—a burger cooking battle with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes.

Entries are now being accepted for the August competition that will be part of the 78th annual rally this year running from Aug. 3 to Aug. 12 in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

The winner will move on to the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., where the top prize is $100,000, according to rally director Jerry Cole.

The Sturgis Burger Battle contest will be a preferred qualifying event for the world event.

Every chef, backyard baron, and restaurant that thinks that they've got the best burger is encouraged to enter.

To enter, names of cook-off participants, ages, birth dates, and addresses, along with a typed copy of the entry's recipe and a photo of the finished product should be submitted to Sturgis cook-off officials by May 15.

There can only be two members on each team and they must plan to attend the rally from Tuesday, Aug. 7, through Friday, Aug. 10.

Competitors will prepare food on-site in timed events that include preparation speed, specialty recipes, presentation and the ultimate test of taste

Qualifying rounds will be Aug. 7 through Aug. 9. Entries will be judged by a panel of chefs and from these entries 12 teams and four alternates will be picked to grill live on the Harley Davidson downtown Sturgis stage in the qualifying rounds.

The three daily winners plus a judge's favorite will move into the finals on the stage on Aug. 10.

The competition has been elevated to a "preferred qualifier status" by guaranteeing that the Sturgis winner's registration fees are paid and other assistance is provided to compete in Alabama.

"Stakes are high and the competition is intense," said Cole, who noted there will be additional prizes along with the $10,000 in cash prizes.

For more information on how to participate in the event, go to