SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle has been tempting taste buds every winter for nearly a decade. Now, this local contest is making an impression around the globe.

Papa Woody’s claimed the 8th annual Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle championship last January with The Uptowner.

“I think it was a really big surprise for a lot of people that a pizza place won a burger battle,” Papa Woody’s Owner Lisa Esser said.

Eight months later the burger remains a popular item at this downtown pizza place.

“We’ve had a lot of positive reaction to it, people are grateful that we kept it on the menu so it’s been really good for business,” Esser said.

Papa Woody’s isn’t the only one collecting awards. The International Downtown Association based in Washington, D.C. is recognizing Downtown Sioux Falls with an Award of Excellence for this year’s Burger Battle.

“This is just kind of icing on the cake for years and years of hard work that the DTSF team has put into Burger Battle to make it the cultural phenomenon that it’s become,” DTSF President Joe Batcheller said.

The International Downtown Association has members around the world and the DTSF Burger Battle was one of 31 qualified entries in its category.

“We’re one of eight organizations that received awards in different categories. We won this award in the event’s marketing and communications category, so to be recognized like this is just a phenomenal experience,” Batcheller said.

Esser says the Burger Battle changed Papa Woody’s for the better and that DTSF is deserving of the award.

“To host events like this, especially during a time like COVID and get the excitement around it and have it elevate our business when we all needed it was awesome and we’re thrilled for them that they won the award for organizing the event,” Esser said.

Batcheller says the Downtown Burger Battle had six participants in 2018, and 24 last January.

He expects the event to be bigger than ever in 2022.