ShadeTree Amateur BBQ

2021 ShadeTree Logo

KCBS Sanctioned

2022 results

1st Place
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  1. The Shade Tree Barbeque Cook-off is a contest for amateur cookers. If you compete in the Rocket City Barbeque Cook-off, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, you are not eligible to enter the Shade Tree Cooker Competition.
  2. Entry: Teams must pre-register to compete. Competition is limited, so register early. The entry fee is $275 to enter the Shade Tree Contest in the categories of chicken and/or pork ribs. Entry fee includes four wristbands to the festival per team (must be worn during Festival hours by all team members) as well as a 20' x 20' cook site. New in 2022 - the upgraded ShadeTree sites will be 30' x 20' and will allow the space for a camper as long as it completely fits within the 30 foot area. All campers on these sites must be self-contained as there will not be any additional electrical or water hook-ups provided – just the typical 20amp power and water. Please note that due to the nature and size of the 20’ x 30’ sites, the actual location of sites will be predetermined, meaning that teams registering for one of these sites will have limited options during site selection.  These sites will be an additional $75 and will include two additional wristbands.
  3. Applications accepted as of May 31, 2022. No refunds will be made after August 1, 2022 regardless of reason.
  4. All cooker information, including acceptance into contest, will be sent via email. Should your email change at any time it is your responsibility to notify the Festival Committee.
  5. Persons 18 years and older are eligible to compete in the ShadeTree Cooker Competition.
  6. ShadeTree cooking sites are assigned on Thursday, September 8th. ShadeTree cooking site is approximately 20’ x 20’. There is no longer a "double spot" option. Each individual site is one team, so if two sites are purchased there must be two competing teams.
  7. Set-up time is 7AM to 7PM on Thursday, September 8th; 7 AM – 2 PM on Friday, September 9th. During set up times vehicles may enter the BBQ area for unloading. All vehicles must have driver’s name and phone number visible on dash board, in case vehicle needs to be moved. Any vehicle left in the Festival area after 2 PM on Friday will be towed!
  8. A MANDATORY Cooks’ Meeting will be held Saturday at 8:30 AM to go over the rules and answer any questions about the cook-off. A representative from each team must be present at the meeting.
  9. Contest entrees must be submitted in numbered styrofoam boxes (9”x9”) provided at the Mandatory Cooks’ Meeting. Regarding turn in, please refer to "KCBS backyard rules" linked below and at - a copy of these will be emailed (2 weeks before festival) in your cooker packet.
  10. Contest entrees will be turned in at the House of Judges. Contest turn in times are: Chicken - Saturday, 3:30 PM, Pork Rib - Saturday, 4:00 PM. Entrees may be turned in five minutes before until five minutes after each turn-in time to be judged.
  11. Entrees are judged for Appearance, Taste, and Tenderness using Kansas City Barbeque Society scoring rules (
  12. Ice will be available for sale on the grounds, starting on Thursday afternoon.
  13. Water and 20amp electricity are available on a limited (and shared) basis.
  14. Absolutely NO pets are allowed on the Festival grounds.
  15. Safety of this event is paramount! Any unsafe acts or safety issues identified by the Festival committee may cause removal from the Festival grounds.
  16. No commercial sampling or distribution unless approved in writing by the Festival committee.
  17. Motorized vehicles are prohibited at all times during festival hours unless otherwise authorized by Festival committee.
  18. No commercial vending or solicitation allowed in the ShadeTree area. Commercial spaces available- contact Festival Coordinator.
  19. All cooker supplies, including alcoholic beverages, must be brought in before 2 PM on Friday or before 8AM on Saturday. Alcoholic beverages will not be allowed to enter through the gates during Festival hours.
  20. Keg beer is prohibited at all times, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Festival Director.
  21. WhistleStop prohibits the distribution any flyers, or pamphlets of any kind, without prior approval from the Festival Director.
  22. Awards will be announced on Saturday at 8:30 PM. Awards will be given to the top six teams competing for chicken and the top six teams competing for ribs. First place in both meat categories will be awarded $250.00. A Grand Champion Award will recognize the best team overall and will be awarded $500.00, and entrance into the KCBS competition the following year. Both categories must be entered to be eligible for Grand Champion.

If you have any questions or need to make advance arrangements, please email or call 256-564-8116.

Judging App