SAVORING the mouth-watering, finger-licking ribs from pit masters were those who attended The Blade’s 35th annual Northwest Ohio Rib Off presented by the Taylor Automotive Family at the Lucas County Fairgrounds in Maumee.
The event, part of the National Barbecue Cookers Association, was also sponsored by Budweiser, Tireman, Fin Feather Fur Outfitters, Elizabeth Scott Community, TAS, the Army, and others.
From left: Nick Bollin, Dan Bollin, Becky Bollin, Ross Bollin, and Kelsey Tillman during The Blade's 35th annual Northwest Ohio Rib Off.
A dozen local and national vendors, including Porky Chicks, Claymakers Texas Outlaw, Pigfoot, Armadillo’s Rib and BBQ Co., Mojo’s Rib Shack, Pork Brothers, Porkbelly, Bogey’s Smokin’ BBQ, and Deet’s, served ribs in a variety of special sauces.
Smokin’ Joe’s Hog Wild BBQ was selected the celebrity judges’ winner, while Bg’s Main Event BBQ won the people’s choice award for national vendor. Locally, Smokey’s BBQ Roadhouse won the people’s choice trophy.
Most booths also offered mac ‘n cheese, cornbread, baked beans, slaw, and brisket. There were also vendors for french fries, fried veggies, corn-on-the-cob, funnel cakes, sno-cones, cotton candy, elephant ears, caramel apples, salt water taffy, doughnuts, ice cream, and more. Of course, there were plenty of soft drinks, including fresh-squeezed lemonade, and beer.
Jesse Garcia loved the collard greens with pulled pork instead of bacon at Porky Chicks. He was with his wife, Amy Garcia, and their son Little Jag, 7 weeks old, who sported a matching shark T-shirt with his dad. Mr. Garcia joked you’ve got to start them early — referring to the great food. They were joined by Mr. Garcia’s parents, Betty and Eddie Garcia.
Kalil Brown, 10, with parents Robert and Una Love Brown, enjoyed the fried veggies.
Kyle Munson and Crystal Miles said, “If we had a sampler plate from each one it would be an equal opportunity for all ribbers.”
Ray and Kathy Ober of Sherrill, Iowa, were celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary. They were married on the downtown Toledo waterfront on Aug. 10, 1991, and have been coming every year for the event. They came here because they heard Jamie Farr mention Toledo on M*A*S*H.
Many attendees brought portable chairs and sat in the shade to eat and people watch, but some were privy to the VIP area where there were deluxe restrooms and a fireplace, which ignited Amy Davis and Jerry Mac of K-100 to joke that all they needed was a La-Z- Boy.
Deet’s served up a meal in addition to all rib vendors offering samples so the guests could vote for their favorite.
It was the first time at the Rib Off for Douglas and Norma Fortman who said, “We definitely will come back!”
Rick Odum, there with Debra May, comes every year for the ribs and said “the fallin’ off the bone ones are the best.”
Musical entertainment drew folks out for music under the stars, or, under the rainy skies most days.
Morris Day, Michael McDonald, and Lee Brice as well as Distant Cousinz, vocal duo Ida Mae, with Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean, Kasey Tyndall, and the Band Steele provided entertainment.
Children’s activities included inflatables, a climbing wall, an archery range, and face painting.
The four-day event relied on about 500 volunteers from a dozen local groups, the largest numbers from Maumee High School Band, Lourdes University baseball team, and Black Swamp Rowing Club.
About $15,000 raised for charity, said Luann Sharp, marketing director for The Blade, who was in charge of the event.
A special thanks to Veterans Matter, and for Family Day performances by the Springfield High School Emerald Guard and the Evolve Dance Company.
Barbara Hendel is The Blade’s society editor. Contact her at: email@example.com or call 419-724-6124.
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