At the American Royal Barbecue

Kansas City, Kansas, firefighters’ team at the American Royal Barbecue competition on Friday. The event continues today at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by William Crum)
Oklahoma Joe’s team at the American Royal Barbecue on Friday. (Photo by William Crum)
Joe Pearce with Slaps Barbecue at the American Royal Barbecue on Friday. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

When asked, “Why do you compete in the American Royal Barbecue,” the answer was “It is mainly about the family. Where everyone sits around and eats barbecue and gets to know one another. This is what we are about.”

“As firemen we are part of the Wyandotte County family, the people we protect as firemen,” said Jason Williams, captain of the barbecue team. Williams is a captain with the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department.

Other members of the team are Adam Martell, Tim Cattrell, Kansas City, Kansas, firefighters; Mark Barnes, Kansas City, Kansas, firefighters; Reed William and Neal Martell.

American Royal Barbecue kicks off this weekend

The American Royal Barbecue is this weekend, with events planned from Thursday through Sunday.

The event is held at the Kansas Speedway, near I-70 and 110th Street in Kansas City, Kansas.

The event is a barbecue competition for teams. More than 500 teams are expected to compete. Other food will be available for purchase.

There will be entertainment throughout the event. Fireworks are scheduled Friday night. “Heroes on Display” events are scheduled Saturday. Kid-friendly events also are planned. Gates will open at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

Both single-day and weekend tickets are available. Ticket prices range from $23 to $25 per person to $9 for children per day. Children under 5 are free. Parking is $10 per vehicle. A weekend pass is $40 to $45.

For more information, see

American Royal Barbecue event kicks off today

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue kicks off Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Kansas Speedway, I-435 and I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas.

The event lasts through Sept. 19.

Barbecue teams compete in this contest, which bills itself as the world’s largest barbecue contest and the American Royal’s largest fundraiser.

There will be live music during the event. For a list of scheduled music performances and activities, visit

A Salute to Service Day is scheduled Saturday, including a flyover.

Tickets are $25 per person, with different plans available. For more information, visit