As a pitmaster and a lover of all things barbeque, I can confidently say that Kansas City is the "Barbeque Capital of the World". With its rich history and passion for smoked meats, it's no surprise that there are numerous events and festivals dedicated to celebrating Kansas City barbeque. From traditional competitions to mouth-watering food festivals, there is something for every barbeque enthusiast in this vibrant city.
The American Royal World Series of BarbecueOne of the most prestigious and highly anticipated events in the world of Kansas City barbeque is the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. This annual event, held at the Kansas Speedway, attracts over 50,000 visitors each year.
It is a four-day extravaganza that celebrates all things barbeque, from cooking competitions to live music and delicious food. The American Royal World Series of Barbecue has been a tradition in Kansas City since 1980 and has grown to become the largest barbeque competition in the world. Teams from all over the country come to compete in various categories such as ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork. The event also features a Kids' Que competition for young aspiring pitmasters. Aside from the competitions, visitors can also enjoy live music performances, cooking demonstrations by renowned pitmasters, and a wide variety of food vendors offering Kansas City-style barbeque. The event also hosts a BBQ Hall of Fame ceremony where individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of barbeque are honored.
The Great Lenexa BBQ BattleThe Great Lenexa BBQ Battle is another popular event that celebrates Kansas City barbeque.
Held in the city of Lenexa, Kansas, this two-day festival attracts over 200 teams from all over the country. It is a fierce competition where teams battle it out for the title of Grand Champion and a chance to win cash prizes. Aside from the competition, visitors can also enjoy live music, a beer garden, and a variety of food vendors offering Kansas City-style barbeque and other delicious treats. The event also features a Kids' Zone with fun activities for the little ones. What sets The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle apart from other barbeque festivals is its commitment to giving back to the community. The event raises funds for local charities and has donated over $1 million since its inception in 1982.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Annual Banquet and Awards CeremonyThe Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) is the largest organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating Kansas City barbeque.
Each year, they host an annual banquet and awards ceremony to honor the top pitmasters and teams in the barbeque world. The event is open to KCBS members and features a delicious dinner with, of course, Kansas City-style barbeque. Attendees can also participate in a silent auction with proceeds going towards the KCBS Scholarship Fund, which supports students pursuing a career in the culinary arts. The highlight of the evening is the awards ceremony where top teams are recognized for their achievements in various categories such as Team of the Year, Rookie Team of the Year, and Pitmaster of the Year. It's a night of celebration and camaraderie among fellow barbeque enthusiasts.
The Kansas City Barbeque FestivalThe Kansas City Barbeque Festival is a three-day event that celebrates the rich history and culture of Kansas City barbeque. Held at the historic Kansas City Power & Light District, this festival features over 20 of the city's top barbeque restaurants serving up their signature dishes. Aside from the delicious food, visitors can also enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and a variety of activities for the whole family.
The festival also hosts a BBQ Sauce Contest where attendees can sample and vote for their favorite sauce. What makes this festival unique is its focus on education and preserving the tradition of Kansas City barbeque. The event features a BBQ Bootcamp where attendees can learn from pitmasters and experts about the art of smoking meats and creating mouth-watering sauces.
The Kansas City BBQ Society Annual Meeting and BBQ BashThe Kansas City BBQ Society Annual Meeting and BBQ Bash is an event that brings together KCBS members from all over the country. It is a weekend filled with networking, educational seminars, and of course, Kansas City-style barbeque.The event features a BBQ Bash where attendees can sample different types of barbeque from various teams. There is also a People's Choice competition where attendees can vote for their favorite dish.
The weekend also includes educational seminars on topics such as competition cooking, judging, and marketing. Aside from these events, there are also numerous smaller festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate Kansas City barbeque. These include the Blue Springs Barbeque Blaze-Off, the Great Midwest Barbeque Festival, and the Rockin' Ribfest in North Kansas City.