The American Royal announced the World Series of Barbecue, the world’s largest barbecue competition, will return to the Kansas Speedway from September 16th to September 19th, 2021.

This marks the 41st year for the event, with competitors attending from all around the world.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, last year’s competition was unable to take place. For 2021, the American Royal will work with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and state officials to ensure the event follows local, state and national safety guidelines. And competitors in the Invitational Contest and Kids Que who qualified to compete in 2020 will be eligible to participate in this year’s events.

“The World Series of Barbecue is often referred to as the ‘family reunion’ of competitive barbecue,” says Glen Alan Phillips, President and CEO of the American Royal. “It’s the one time during the year where all of the competitors, from the elites to the amateurs, get together in one space to fire up hundreds of smokers – and have a great time in the process”

The weekend will once again bring together world-renowned pitmasters to compete for the title of Grand Champion in both the Open and Invitational contests. The event attracts hundreds of teams to the Kansas Speedway. As in previous years, competitors will be able to host private events in their respective spaces. Public facing programming and attendance levels are still to be determined, based upon recommendations from public health officials. Team registration is currently open and single-entry ticket will be available at a later date.

“As a non-profit focused on agriculture education and advocacy, this is our highest-profile event and biggest fundraiser,” commented Phillips. “We can’t wait to fill the Kansas Speedway with an international community of barbecue enthusiasts.”

For more information about the American Royal Association and the World Series of Barbecue, visit

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