Wichita on the Cheap

Live the Good Life for Less & Never Miss a Deal

FREE: Smoke on the Plains, Derby BBQ & Music Fest

The annual Derby BBQ Festival in Derby’s High Park will be fun! It’s this weekend, June 7 & 8, 2024! This is an annual family-friendly event with live music, food, and kid’s activities. Admission is FREE. There are an average of about 50 professional BBQ teams from the Midwest. A full slate of activities will be this year, including the Creekstone Farms People’s Choice Tasting Contest, Kids Corner, live music and entertainment, and tasty meal options on the Security 1st Title Food Truck Row.

Guests can expect a fun-filled weekend at High Park in Derby! The younger attendees can enjoy the Kids Corner. They will have princesses, face painting, bounce houses, foam parties, and more. The older guests can enjoy beverages from the Beer Garden and live music on both nights, along with a cornhole tournament, car show, and more.

Smoke on the Plains BBQ & Music Fest

Fun Facts about Derby BBQ & Music Fest:

    • It’s FREE to attend, with FREE live music and FREE activities in the kid’s corner.
    • BBQ tasting kits, drinks, and food are available to purchase.
    • The BBQ competitions include the KCBS Cook-off and the Backyard BBQ Cook-off.
    • Proceeds from this event benefit the McConnell Air Force Base Military and Family
      Readiness Center. The City of Derby has donated $20,000 of proceeds from this event to
      the center over 12 years.
    • The BBQ & Music Fest is Derby’s largest event, drawing thousands of people over two days.
    • They average about 50 professional BBQ teams from the Midwest.
    • The Derby Public Library will hold its 4th Annual Medallion Hunt. Starting Monday, June 4,
      look for clues on their website, DerbyLibrary.com, and Facebook page, @DerbyLibrary. The
      winner will receive a $100 gift card and BBQ prize package.
    • The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Cook-off for pro teams and the Scholfield Honda
      Backyard BBQ Cook-off for aspiring pitmasters. Team registration for pro teams is open at
      DerbyBBQ.com (backyard spots are full).
    • Attendees can sample pulled pork prepared by the BBQ teams on Friday, June 7, at the
      People’s Choice Tasting Contest at 7 p.m. Team-prepared BBQ will not be available on
      Saturday, June. 8.

Schedule of Events for the Derby BBQ & Music Fest: 

Friday, June 7, 2024, from 6 to 10 p.m.

  • Kids Que, 5:30 p.m., age groups 6-10 and 11-15
  • Creekstone Farms People’s Choice Tasting Contest, 7 to 9 p.m.
    • Buy a $5 tasting kit to try six two-ounce samples of competition pulled pork.
    • Tasting kits will go on sale at 7 p.m. at the tent southwest of the ballfields.
  • Oak & Iron Lanes, 6 to 10 p.m. – FREE axe throwing
  • Live music on the Mainstage
    • Harrison Steele, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
    • Jed Harrelson, 8 to 10 p.m.
  • Derby Recreation Commission Toss Like a Boss Cornhole Tournament, 6 to 8 p.m.
  •  Security 1st Title Food Truck Row, Derby Lions Club Beer & Beverage

Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 9 am – 3 pm. 

  • Smokin’ 5K Race at 7:30 am
  •  Hot Wheels for Hot Meals Car Show, the upper North parking lot from 9 am to 2 pm.
  • Breakfast food options on the Security 1st Title Food Truck Row include Bloody Marys and mimosas served by Shaken or Stirred Bartending from 9 am to 11 am.
  • Kids Corner is open on the east side of the pond from 9 am 3 pm.
    • Activities include foam parties (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), bounce houses, princesses, face painting, Derby Fire & Rescue activities, Toss with a Derby Twin, and more.
  • Ms. Rachel on the Mainstage at 9 am.
  • Music and Movement with Miss Shonda on the Mainstage at 9:30am.
  • Security 1st Title Food Truck Row, Derby Lions Club Beer & Beverage Garden, Shaken or Stirred Bartending, and First Man Brewery will be open from 11am – 3 pm.

There will be a break in scheduled activities at the park from 3 to 6 p.m.

June 8, 2024, from 6 pm – 10 pm

  • Candice and the Business Casual on the Mainstage from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  •  Paramount, an 80s rock tribute cover band on the Mainstage from 8 to 10 p.m.
  • Security 1st Title Food Truck Row, Derby Noon Lions Club Beer & Beverage Garden, Shaken or Stirred Bartending, and First Man Brewery from 6 to 10 p.m.

The event began in 2011 as The National BBQ Derby. It started small and has grown over the years. In 2014, it changed its name to the Derby BBQ Festival and became a KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) event. In 2019, it added a music festival and changed its name to the Smoke on the Plains Derby BBQ & Music Fest. It was our sesquicentennial celebration. Their logo has seen several changes over the years as well, but it’s the same great event.

Date: June 7 & 8, 2024

Time:

  • June 7 from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • June 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • (they take a break for BBQ awards and to get teams out of the park)

Location: High Park, 2801 E. James St., Derby, KS

Price: Free!

Parking: On-site parking will be available in the paved lots, and grass parking will be accessible from the east Madison Ave. entrance. An ADA parking lot will be available on the north side of the Zimmerman Family Shelter. Look for signage when you arrive at the park. We will also have golf cart shuttles to get you to the action faster! Look for a friendly event volunteer if you need a ride.

Find more of Wichita’s Favorite Festivals.

Scroll to the top