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Want to watch the Pitmasters at work? Want to smell the glorious aromas of meat cooked over an open flame? Then you need to join us here at Noccalula Falls Park and Campground for KCBS World Championship Barbeque Cookoff. Join us for all the fun and excitement on November 11th – 13th, 2022. See you there.

a close up of a signThe Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) is pleased to announce its fourth annual KCBS World Invitational Barbeque Competition, presented by Smithfield®. The KCBS World Invitational competition will be held Nov. 11-13, 2022 at the Noccalula Falls Park and Campground  in Gadsden, AL. After the development of an extensive RFP, research of over 20 locations that could potentially meet KCBS’s unique needs and 7 completed proposals to bring the KCBS World Invitational to their site, the Noccalula Falls Park and Campground  in Gadsden, AL was selected based on the site’s outstanding facilities, experience handling barbeque competitions and by providing the best opportunity for participating KCBS members.

To qualify for the opportunity to compete for the KCBS Master Series Invitational World Champion title, trophies, cash and bragging rights, Master Series pitmasters must win Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion at a KCBS-sanctioned Master series barbeque contest. Within the KCBS Backyard Series Invitational, amateur pitmasters compete for the title of “KCBS World Backyard Rib Champion” and “KCBS World Backyard Chicken Champion;” qualifying by winning win 1st place Ribs or 1st place Chicken at a KCBS-sanctioned Backyard contest. Pitmasters in good standing with KCBS may qualify at any of the nearly 400 contests that KCBS sanctions annually in the U.S. and over 37 countries globally between Jan. 1, 2020 and July 31, 2022.

2022 will include the second annual “Open” contest, in which any Kansas City Barbeque Society pitmaster from around the world can enter to compete for the coveted Wells Cup named after our co-founders. This OPEN contest will allow Master and Backyard pitmasters to go head-to-head against each other in all four of the main proteins. It will also provide additional competition opportunities for the pitmasters to win cash and prizes throughout the course of the competition weekend.

“KCBS attracts top-ranking pitmasters from all across the U.S. and over 37 countries to compete for the coveted title of KCBS World Champion,’” said Emily Detwiler, Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. “We continue to elevate the experience of this world-class event each year.  We are pleased to continue to partner with Smithfield, a high-quality protein brand and long-time partner within the sport of competition barbeque who is dedicated to growing the sport.”

“Gadsden, AL is known as the ‘City of Champions,’ and we are delighted to partner with KCBS to bring championship pitmasters to Gadsden, AL,” said Jen Weathington, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Gadsden. “We’ve hosted a large-scale KCBS regular season contests for 10 years and are excited to host the KCBS World Invitational.”

“We are excited to return as the presenting sponsor and partner of the 2022 KCBS World Invitational,” said Laura Pall, Senior Brand Manager at Smithfield Foods. “Smithfield continues to invest in the barbeque community for to highlight the quality of our protein. Our partnership with the largest barbeque sanctioning body is a great way to inspire barbeque and grilling enthusiasts across the nation. We pride ourselves on consistently providing, top-quality pork products that deliver winning results for both pitmasters and grilling enthusiasts alike.”

The KCBS World Invitational will also serve as the finale of the 2022 “Turkey Smoke” competition series in partnership with the National Turkey Federation. Rounding out the fun will be a cocktail contest in partnership with the Holladay Distillery, home of 360 Vodka, Kansas City’s hometown vodka.

Registration for qualifying teams will be available beginning August 8th on the KCBS website.  Applications for Certified Barbeque Judges will begin August 15th. Judges should be willing to Judge, Volunteer in the Judging Tent, or be a Table Captain. Judge selection will be based upon actual number of teams registered.  All Teams, Certified Barbeque Judges and Certified Table Captains must be KCBS members in good standing. Ensure your membership is in good standing and will be during the event at or call the office at 1-800-963-5227.  We will also need miscellaneous Event Volunteers throughout the weekend, so please let us know if you’d like to Volunteer without being involved in the judging process.

In addition, KCBS will host its annual awards banquet at 210 at the Tracks in Gadsden, AL on Friday, November 11; honoring 2022 KCBS Team of the Year pitmaster winners, key ambassadors, and those recognized with other special KCBS awards. Banquet tickets will be available when Invitational Team opens on August 8th.