Barbecue contest returns to Missouri State Fair in Sedalia

Kansas City is nationally acclaimed for its barbecue — and it’s not too late to remind fellow Missourians of that.

The upcoming Missouri State Fair has brought back the barbecue contest and it’s taking participant entries, but the deadline is Monday. The contest will host up to 30 teams competing in burger, wing and bratwurst categories.

An entry form can be found on the fair’s website at



The barbecue contest is Aug. 12.

The 109th Missouri State Fair, whose theme is “It’s a Show-Me Thing,” runs Aug. 11-21 in Sedalia.

Prompted by Missouri musician Rhonda Vincent, fair officials also have organized a new all-day bluegrass festival, said Tammie Nichols, marketing director for the fair.

Regular admission will get fairgoers into the majority of the festival on Aug. 17. Those wanting to see Vincent perform that evening will need to buy a separate ticket, ranging from $10 to $20.

Other attractions include carnival rides, concerts, agricultural expos, a farmers market, robotics exhibits, the governor’s ham breakfast and the first lady’s pie contest, which is taking submissions through Thursday. Tickets to the governor’s breakfast are $20 and include fair admission. Last year, the event sold out.

The last Saturday of the fair is the “sale of champions,” when prized livestock will be sold. Last year, the sale brought in $100,000 for scholarships.

“It’s a great way to support agriculture,” said Mark Wolfe, director of the state fair. “Plus, where else are you going to see a steer that sells for $25,000? That’s got to be some good steak.”

For those looking for something a little different, a street fair planned for Aug. 13 will showcase ways that advanced technology is affecting the farming business. Wolfe particularly encourages kids who might be interested in a technology-focused career to attend.

“You can still be very involved in agriculture and not be a farmer,” Wolfe said.

Regular daily admission to the fair is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors. Children ages 6 to 12 get in for $2, and those 5 and under get in free. On Aug. 14, active military personnel and veterans get in for free and their families for $1.

For those looking to spend a little less, admission is $5 after 5 p.m. Aug. 14-17 and $4 on Aug. 18. There are also discounted ticket prices for the first and last days of the fair.

Through Aug. 15, people who take canned goods to a Ford dealership will receive a dollar-off coupon. The collected food will be distributed to six food banks across the state.

To find more information about special events, tickets and schedules, go to


or call 800-422-3247.