Kansas City Barbecue Events


American Royal World Series of Barbecue

With over forty years and counting, it is probably accurate to say this is the biggest barbecue competition in the world. Drawing over 500 teams, including some from around the globe, this is an event to be reckoned with. Over 50,000 people come out to the Kansas Speedway. Locals call it Kansas City’s biggest party; anther claim that is hard to argues.

aerial view of American Royal World Series of Barbecue

This is world class barbecue and so much more. There’s room in the scope of this event for rodeo, cattle judging and auctions, multiple equine events and an extensive music lineup. The dates for 2021 or September 16-19. With tens of thousands of dollars as prize money and bragging rights second to none, this is going to be a penultimate barbecue event.

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American Royal World Series Of Barbecue – Results 2021 Featured image

American Royal World Series Of Barbecue (WSOBBQ) – Results 2021

The most recent WSOBBQ or as locals have known this to be

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History of the Famous World Series of Barbecue

A gastronomical competition? What is more mouth-watering than BBQ? I hear you

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World Series of Barbecue Sept 17-20 2020 at Kansas Speedway

What is it? If there is one of the biggest BBQ events

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Smoke on the Plains Derby BBQ & Music Fest

A couple hours southwest of KC is a modest barbecue competition and festival in the town of Derby, KS. High Park in Derby is a great location for this kind of event with a lake running along one side and plenty of space. The event is a KCBS competition with competitors earning points (in addition to cash) toward the team of the year awards.

glimpse of Smoke on the Plains Derby BBQ & Music Fest

Scheduled in mid –June (2021 6/10-12) this event still keeps a hometown feel to it with carnival rides for the kids and the ‘Toss Like a Boss’ Corn-hole competition. And of course food for all in many forms at the town of Derby’s largest gathering.  It is bigger than local though, drawing in over 30 professional teams and nearly twenty Backyard team barbecue competitors.

Smoke on the Plains Derby BBQ & Music Fest Presented by Rock Regional Hospital | Derby, KS - Official Website (derbyks.com)

Great Lenexa BBQ Battle

For almost forty years on the fourth Saturday (and Friday) in June, barbecue teams have set up booths around Rose’s Pond in the Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa, KS. Nearly two hundred teams compete in this official Kansas State Championship as declared by the governor in 1984. Friday starts on more of a party note with music and activities throughout the park. Apparently having local knowledge is a great way to get into some of the many private parties, and good eats, that are happening amongst the competitors.

gathering in Great Lenexa BBQ Battle

Saturday is down to business with the judging and free barbecue sampling to attendees. Of course there is commercial barbecue available throughout the event along with the usual festival fare. Longevity and legacy is a fun part of this event with teams that have been competing for literally decades, some over thirty years.

Great Lenexa BBQ Battle - City of Lenexa