The American Royal announced Wednesday afternoon this year’s World Series of Barbecue competition will be held at Kansas Speedway for the second year in a row.
President of American Royal, Lynn Parman says the this is the first time the competition will be held on Labor Day Weekend, August 31- September 3, 2017.
“This is new for us,” Parman said. “We've been able to attract 50,000 people to attend our barbecue each year. And we feel that this will allow us to attract more families and barbecue enthusiasts from around the country.”
Parman says this is also the first time the competition will have a public festival to go along with it.
“The festival will include local live music on both days. It will also include kids’ activities, a carnival, it will have a beer garden like atmosphere. Lots of barbecue and local restaurants with food and a vendor fair for the barbecue enthusiasts,” Parman said. “It will have lots of vendors where they can find all that they need for home barbecue as far as Kansas City authentic trades that they can purchase.”
Parman says this date and public festival is the perfect way to finish the summer season and attract even more people to the popular event.
“Our attendance for the World Series of BBQ has continued to grow each year. In fact, last year, we had over 50,000 people which was a record year for us. It also told us that the public is very interested in this event,” Parman said. “We felt it was important to have more activities and more programming and more ways for them to taste barbecue and experience barbecue. So we will be adding a lot of activities for the public whether it's on Friday or Saturday.”
For BBQ Hall of Fame inductee, Ardie Davis, he says the new date will attract even more people to the world’s larest competition of what he calls America’s cuisine.
“It’s a great weekend for barbecue,” Davis said. “When I smell the meat fire, hickory smoke, or pecan, or oak it hits those primal bones and it's just makes me hungry, makes me excited, makes me feel excited for our ancient past and our current passion for barbecue. It's like the whole country now is engaged in the passion of barbecue.”
Davis says this event is more than just a competition.
“It gives me pride in the city, pride in the American Royal, and as long as the barbecue is happy and everyone who comes to the event is happy, I'm happy,” Davis said.
Parman says this event adds more fuel to American Royal’s mission of impacting the future of agriculture.
“We are able to provide over a million dollars a year in scholarship money as well as to support our education program,” she said. “By moving this to Labor Day weekend, we believe we'll be able to attract more people and support our mission.”
President of Kansas Speedway, Pat Warren says through this event it will bring even more light to Kansas Speedway.
Last October it was announced the American Royal is in the intense planning phases for a new home in Wyandotte County.
“Planning is going very well, and we are still on track to locate our new facility in the next couple of years,” Parman said. “The location of our new home will be in this Village West area. We are still finalizing our exact land location and going through our star bond process, as well as our planning phase, but we are very focused on that planning phase of the project.”
For more information on the American Royal and the World Series BBQ competition, click here.
Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.