The Thirty Third Annual Jesse James Barbeque Cook-Out (31st Annual Show-Me State Championship) contest will be held during the 50th Annual Jesse James Festival, September 18-19, 2020. Check in time is 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, or 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Saturday.

Sponsors are North Kansas City Beverage Co., distributors of Anheuser-Busch products, and St. Michael’s Knights of Columbus Council No. 8915 of Kearney, in conjunction with the Jesse James Festival Committee.

The contest will again be sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and their judging procedures will be used. This contest is the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP which is determined by the four basic categories.

We will have one division with five categories. The categories are turkey, beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork shoulder/boston butt only (minimum 4 pounds). Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, September 19th. ONLY THE FOUR BASIC KCBS CATEGORIES WILL COUNT TOWARD THE GRAND CHAMPION AND RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!

The contest will be held in the same location as the past few years. The amphitheatre at the festival grounds will be the site of the cooks meeting at 6:00 p.m. Friday night and the awards presentation Saturday afternoon.

This will also be the site for all the Jesse James Festival activities which will include a beer garden and festival dance on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as the popular mud volleyball contest, rodeo, carnival, and arts and crafts.

As this will be the 50th Annual Jesse James Festival there will be many other activities, so please visit the website or also visit a new city website for activities in our community including all the amphitheatre concerts.

Prize money totals $5,025 with a $200 cash prize for first place in each category, $175 to second place, $150 to third place, $135 to fourth place, $125 to fifth place with ribbons being awarded in all places. The overall Reserve Grand Champion will receive $500 and a trophy. The Grand Champion will receive $600 and a trophy. A plaque will also be awarded by the Kearney Chamber of Commerce for the Showmanship Award.

The entry fee is $175 for all categories. Advance registrations are strongly encouraged. Electrical hook ups will be available this year for $25. Entry forms and copies of rules and regulations may be picked up from Kearney Fire Station or you may request by email or mail from JESSE JAMES BARBEQUE COMMITTEE, 1305 COLONY DRIVE, KEARNEY, MISSOURI 64060.

If you have any questions, call Larry at 816-935-9644. Interested judges can email Valerie Fort at or contact her by phone at 816-719-5141. You may also access the website for all festival activities including downloading the application



* Photo Release form must be printed, signed and returned to the address listed for all participants. Download

See Full Event Schedule


Kids Q on the Hill

Welcome to the Tenth Kids Q on the Hill at the Jesse James Festival in Kearney, MO.
Below you will find the information needed to compete and the application for the contest.

Applications must be submitted by Monday, September 14th. No contestants will be accepted after that date. Please go over everything with the cook and the adult helper so that everyone knows and understands the rules.

1) Check-in will be done at the cook’s meeting on Friday night and the kids will start cooking immediately following. The Kid’s Cooks meeting will begin at 5:30 at the stage. Turn-in will be at 7pm.

2) Kids (ages 6 – 15) will be able to compete and KCBS rules apply unless otherwise stated below. Kids affiliated with a Team at the KCBS contest may cook in their teams designated spot. If they are not with a team an area will be assigned for those contestants to cook in.

3) One adult helper is allowed per kid cook. The child must do the preparation, cooking and presentation. If the child is unable to do all of these he/she is too young to cook. Adult helper may do lighting of the grill and/or any slicing deemed too dangerous for the cook. The adult helper must be present at all times until the box is turned in.

4) Meat submitted for the competition must be the meat provided at the cooks meeting. It must fit in the box that is numbered and provided by the contest. No garnish will be provided, but there are no rules for garnish.

5) You can use your own utensils, grills, seasoning and marinades. Please use food service gloves while handling meat. If you are unable to get any, please ask at the cooks meeting and we will provide you with some.

6) Judging will be the same as the KCBS rules based on appearance, tenderness and texture. Nine being the highest and one being the lowest.

7) Awards will be handed out at the award ceremony on Saturday with the KCBS contest. Ribbons will be handed out 1st through 5th and checks for 1st and second.

Thank you for making this our 10th year for this event and we look forward to a great contest this year with another great group of kids!

Larry Pratt, Jesse James Festival

2020 Kids Q application

2020 Kids Q on the Hill Info

* Photo Release form must be printed, signed and returned to the address listed for all participants. Download