The American Royal seems to agree as they announced today that the 2017 World Series of Barbecue will return to the Kansas Speedway, but this year the competition will take place over Labor Day weekend – August 31 through September 3.
This move places the American World Series of Barbecue securely in the middle of the competitive barbecue season, when most professional contenders are thought to be at the top of their game.
It is also a change from 2016, when the competition was moved to late October, at the end of the competitive barbecue circuit, making Kansas City’s contest the finale of the smoky season.
However, it was also the first year this world-famous barbecue competition was held at the Kansas Speedway, and The American Royal said the new venue was met with overwhelming approval from the participants and the public, which made it an easy choice for 2017.
The American Royal Barbecue typically attracts over 50,000 attendees every year, and last year’s substantially larger venue allowed for additional space that was enjoyed by both the contestants and spectators alike.
Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren said he welcomes the chance to once again host one of Kansas City’s great annual festivals.
“The Barbecue was an ideal fit for our venue and the feedback from attendees and teams exceeded our expectations,” Warren said. “We look forward to hosting this iconic event again, this year."
Celebrating its 38th year, the 2017 competition and event weekend will once again bring together over 550 competitors, including world-renowned pitmasters and barbecue enthusiasts to compete for the title of Grand Champion in both the open and invitational contests.
“I’ve seen them all, and the American Royal BBQ is head and shoulders my favorite event”, said Rod Gray, Pitmaster, Pellet Envy. “What better way to celebrate the end of summer, and pay tribute to hard working Americans, than with the event that best celebrates Kansas City’s true heritage, the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, and where better to do this, than the awe-inspiring venue of the Kansas Speedway on Labor Day weekend.”
Attendees to the weekend long barbecue competition and celebration will be able to feast on delicious BBQ and local food from local vendors and food trucks, enjoy a local live music festival while shopping for unique souvenirs at a vendor fair authentic to Kansas City and BBQ enthusiasts.
A full line-up of kids activities have been planned over the weekend, with fun and entertainment for all ages.
“Expanded programming this year will grow this highly anticipated public event into a dynamic holiday festival that will attract attendees and BBQ fanatics from across the country and around the world,” Angie Stanland, chairman of the board of directors for the American Royal.