Bentonville (KFSM)-- People from all around the world will be enjoying the 7th annual World Championship Squirrel Cookoff in Bentonville on Saturday (Sept. 8).
Joe Wilson started this event 7 years ago and he told 5News, it all started with a little lie.
''I kinda lied about a squirrel cookoff, and whenever they said they actually wanted to see it, we had to throw one together,'' said Wilson.
That was 7 years ago, now people travel from across the nation to the annual World Championship Squirrel Cookoff.
Saturday (Sept. 8) will be chef and cookbook author Hank Shaw's first time judging the event. He said contestants will face challenges like not knowing the age of the squirrel, "that has deep consequences in the kitchen, you have to be a better chef to stale that and make the dish very very tasty,'' said Shaw.
The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and the World Championship Squirrel Cookoff trophy, but Wilson says it's not about the money for these contestants,
"They win a thousand bucks, plus they win a trophy, but none of that matters, they're after the title, they want to be the world champion," said Wilson.
The event is free, it starts Saturday (Sept. 9) at 7 a.m. at the Benton County Quail Barn.
This is the first time the cookoff will be at the Quail Barn. In previous years, it was held at the Bentonville Square, but it outgrew the space.
Wilson said they expect about eight thousand people Saturday (Sept. 9).