Kansas City Pipe Show Report

NKP-BAB_bannerA guest post from Pipe Industry insider Nathan King of Nate King Pipes. Nate is perhaps best known for his Steampunk and Gearpunk works. Nate was an exhibitor at the show, so we asked him to share some thoughts on this year’s event.


Middle of the ‘pipe season’, everything is in full swing. Premal Chheda (Smoker’s Haven in Ohio) and I drove together to the Kansas City Pipe show. A full 8 hour drive ends up being a fun road trip!

Upon our arrival in the evening we went to a nice local Mexican restaurant, Mi Ranchito with a group of other pipe makers and collectors. A good time was had by all and we even celebrated Premal’s birthday a little early. Anything to get him to wear a sombrero!!

The new venue, The Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa was fantastic! The staff was extremely helpful and the rooms and ambiance were top notch. The conference hall for the show was spacious and inviting. Although there was no smoking allowed on the second floor, where all the conference rooms are, or in the rooms, the hotel had a smoking tent within close proximity to the show and just outside the hall there was a smoking balcony overlooking the Missouri River.

Saturday night we loaded the same group up and went to a local barbecue joint, Woodyard BBQ. I have to say, if you’re looking for a terrific example of Kansas City BBQ, you will not be 600-Argosy Hoteldisappointed with this restaurant! While we were there, they had some live local entertainment playing quality some blues.

The KC show has a nice relaxed pace and allows likeminded pipe enthusiasts to share the love of the hobby without the sometimes frantic activity of the Chicago Pipe Show. I always enjoy the show because of the slower pace, which allows for time to hang out with other makers, collectors and friends alike. Usually there is little sleep to be had from all the great conversations and numerous stories. Stories abound, whether true or slightly exaggerated.

Every year at the show they hold the American Carvers Pipe Carving Contest. This year it was better than ever. A record number of entries, last count I heard was 63! The committee changed up the format this year, starting a new idea of alternating each years contest between that of a traditional shape and the following year a ‘freehand’ shape. This yea, the committee selected a billiard bowl with a straight shank for the competition. From the group, seven were selected as the premier examples of the ‘billiard’ shape. The elite group selected were in no particular order: Rad Davis, Ryan Alden, Premal Chheda, Colin Rigsby, Jesse Jones, Tyler Lane and myself.


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