BBQ chefs bone up for Ribfest

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BELOIT - Mark your calendars for Beloit's Ninth Annual Ribfest. This year's mouth-watering event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 29, at The Rock Bar and Grill, 101 Maple Ave.

The regional rib cooking competition draws contestants from near and far. This year local contestants include: Jerry Crandall of South Beloit Lions Club, Duane Drevdahl, Denny Morris of South Bergen Smokers, Rich Whalen of Uncle Moo's 2 Dog BBQ, Mike Mark of Brian Mark Funeral Homes, Marc VanderPal of Rock River Valley, Mike Hall of Porkin Ain't Easy, Lester Grace Jr. of Backyard Barbeque, Robert Coleman of Higher Goals Incorporated, Brandon Jackson of Notorious R.I.B, Kirk Askew of Uncle Bookers Bar-B-Kew, Ryan Hanson of Terra Yard Creations, Chris Peters of Sweet Sweet Savant, Liz Rudolph of Ribs Rudolph, Tom Finley of Burning Desires Rib Team, Json Keith of Json's BBQ and Catering and Shaun Eberdt of Beloit Firefighters Local #583.

"We are looking forward to a great day. It's a fun and unique event for Beloit," Ribfest organizer Brian Mark said.

"We are so excited about the Ninth Annual Ribfest. We feel so honored and blessed that the organizers, cooks, volunteers and attendees continue to support Beloit Regional Hospice, and we just love having a great time with everyone," said Beloit Regional Hospice Marketing Associate Britney McKay.

McKay said support for the event is phenomenal, with more than 30 volunteers and cooks who willingly give of their time and talents and have a great time doing it.

Mark said 800 people are expected for this year's event. It's the first year the event is being held on a Saturday.

All proceeds from Ribfest will go to Beloit Regional Hospice. The event typically raises $12,000 to $14,000, surpassing its goal of $10,000.

"We expect the same thing this year," Mark said.

Live music will go 2-5 p.m. provided by Switchtrack Alley. The award ceremony for best ribs, best sauce and people's choice is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Mark encourages rib lovers to come a little early to find a good parking spot and have a little time to mingle with the rib makers.

"It's part of the experience. Come early and talk to the cooks. It's an interactive event," Mark said.

The event itself is free, but meal tickets are $10 for four samples. With a ticket, guests receive four single ribs. Sides are complimentary; water is sold for $1; and alcoholic drinks are available for sale at The Rock.

Trophies will be given out for sauce, ribs and people's choice. The back of the ticket is a ballot.

Main sponsors include Tricor Insurance, Western Container, St. John's Lutheran Church, Savant, Country Pride Meats, Ding-A-Ling Supper Club, Knights of Columbus, Lions, Brian Mark Funeral Home, The Rock Bar and Grill, Beloit Daily News and Finley, Buick GMC.

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