For the teams that participated in our early contests, we are continuing our return to the days of old where you can participate in our contests to tune up for the American Royal!

The Thirty Fifth Annual Jesse James Barbeque Cook-Out (33rd Annual Show-Me State Championship) contest will be held during the 52nd Annual Jesse James Festival, September 15-16, 2023. Check in time is 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday.

We are very proud continuing to have Red Top Farms (a division of Premier Proteins) located here in Kearney as a major sponsor this year.  Other 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 SHOW ME STATE CHAMPIONSHIP which is determined by the four basic categories.

We will have one division with SIX categories. The Four Basic categories are, beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken, and pork shoulder/Boston butt only. The two ancillary categories are pork chops, and new for this year, fresh brats. Fresh brats and approximately 10-12 lb. boneless pork for chops will be provided by Red Top Farms at the cooks meeting. Judging will begin at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, September 16th. ONLY THE FOUR BASIC KCBS CATEGORIES WILL COUNT TOWARD THE GRAND CHAMPION AND RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!

The contest will be held at Jesse James Park, 3001 N. 33 highway as in the past few years.   The pavilions 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 concert on Saturday night.

There will be many other activities, so please visit the website for other activities.  The demo derby is being moved back to Sept 9th with the rodeo moving back to the third weekend Sept 16-17 which will be a new rodeo company.

We will continue with the increased prize money to a total of $8,300, (this will be for ten places in each category plus the Reserve and Grand Champion).   We will be paying the first ten places beginning with $225 for first place and decreasing down through tenth place. The overall Reserve Grand Champion will receive $550 and a trophy. The Grand Champion will receive $700 and a trophy. RED TOP FARMS WILL BE AWARDING A $1,500 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE GRAND CHAMPION THAT CAN BE USED FOR THE NEXT YEAR. IF THE GRAND CHAMPION USES PRODUCT FROM RED TOP FARMS FOR BRISKET, RIBS AND PORK, THEY WILL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL $1,000 GIFT CERTIFICATE. THE FIRST PLACE WINNERS IN ALL  CATEGORIES (except chicken) WILL RECEIVE A $500 GIFT CERTIFICATE. The Kearney Chamber of Commerce will also award a plaque for the Showmanship Award.

The entry fee is $275 for all categories. Advance registrations are strongly encouraged with a deadline of September 4th. Electrical hook ups (20 amp) will be available this year for $25, generators are permitted. Entry forms and copies of rules and regulations will be posted to the website 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.



2023 KCBS Official Rules & Regulations

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