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Kansas City gets grilling with the American Royal Barbecue

MCI, Kansas

The American Royal Barbecue is claimed by many to be the world's biggest barbecue contest but it is, by far, the largest in the nation. Started up in 1980, the event takes place in the historic stockyards of Kansas City. In total there are four contests and approximately 500 teams from around the globe compete in front crowds of up to 70,000. It is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

The American Royal Barbecue, viewed any some as the 'World Series of Barbecue', does, in fact, open the American Royal as well as being the season end for the competitive circuit. However, it is a major Kansas City event in its own right. Carrying on from original rules laid out when it first began, each contestant has to cook at least 10 pounds of either lamb, beef or pork. Judges then award from one to 10 points and the prize for the winning chef is US $60,000.

This annual event, which takes place in the autumn, begins with Fantastic Friday in which each team starts to grill. As well as the main barbecue event, other competitions in this destination over the two days include creations for side-dishes and bone-art and the Rub and Baste Contest. There is also a variety of live music, parties, games and firework displays. Visitors can taste a range of barbecued foods, although only from approved stalls, and those staying longer in this destination can also visit the Barbecue Expo.