Starkville celebrates mudbugs at King Cotton Crawfish Boil

The King Cotton Crawfish Boil featured 16 different teams, all vying for the Best of Boil championship for 2017. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)BoilOneDown came away with the top prize last night at the King Cotton Crawfish Boil. From left: Parker Mullins, Byron Norman and Sam Hardin (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

The smell of crawfish and spices filled the air on Saturday as hundreds descended on the Cotton District for the King Cotton Crawfish Boil.

The event, which was sponsored by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, was centered around a cooking competition featuring 16 different teams, all vying for the 2017 Best of Boil championship.

Tickets were $20 each and included a 5-pound bucket of crawfish from one vendor, unlimited sampling from all vendors and free drinks. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Main Street Association.

Crawlin’ Caleb’s Blues Revue also provided music for those in attendance.

Best of Boil Champion For 2017 went to BoilOneDown, a team consisting of Sam Hardin, Parker Mullins and Byron Norman. The team was awarded a trophy crawfish cooking pot with their new title written on the side.

"Glad to see such a good turn out and so many good teams enter," Norman said. "All the teams put in a tremendous amount of effort and time into this event. The partnership did a great job hosting the event as well. Good Band, good location , good crawfish, and organized. This is a good event for Starkville and for the Cotton District and hopefully it will continue to get larger each year."

Heads or Tails was voted Crowd Favorite and members of the team were award a commemorative paddle.

Judges for the competition were Jay Reed, Ty Thames and Letty Weeks.

Despite the festivities being rescheduled to Saturday with the threat of severe weather on Friday, attendance was good and the weather was mild.

GSDP Special Events and Projects Coordinator Jennifer Prather said the fundraising event underwent some changes in 2017 to make for a better experience.

“That’s a change we made this year, when we went from having a single vendor to letting all the teams cook for each of the attendees and it really let a lot more buy-in and participation between the community and the teams,” she said.

As the crowd filled the Cotton District and hungry patrons circled around communal tables to enjoy their crawfish, Prather said this year’s event was a resounding success.

“It really thrills us when we have standing room only at our events,” Prather said. “The fact that this is a fundraiser for Main Street Association is obviously profitable for us, but just the fact we have this kind of atmosphere.”