Posted 7/29/09 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
With 12 teams signed up and the addition of a Street Fair, the 2009 Best Of The West Ribfest is expected to be the best yet.
Ribfest is your ticket to sizzling hot ribs right off the grill. Whether you like your ribs spicy, tangy or sweet, with 12 secret recipes there’s sure to be something that appeals to rib connoisseurs of all types. But this year’s Ribfest is about much more than just great food.
In true Watford City style, the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce has been working all year to make this great event even better with the addition of a Street Fair which will include 22 vendors form North Dakota and Montana.
“The Chamber has been looking at all of its events with new eyes, hoping to make them even better,” says Brenda Berquist, Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce president. “Due to declining vendor numbers we decided not to have Art In the Park this June and add a Street Fair to Ribfest with hopes of making Ribfest bigger and better than ever before.”
The Street Fair currently has 22 vendors signed up to have booths along Main Street from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 31.
“We didn’t limit the vendors to just craft items,” says Berquist. “The only thing they can’t have is food that will compete with the ribs. The Tourism Bureau did a great job of promoting the event and we have vendors coming from all over.”
The booths include common items like jewelry, clothing and candles. But they also include many vendors making their first trip to Watford City like custom-made leather products, handmade crafts from Guatemala and organic skin care from Africa.
One booth coming from Bismarck is the God Share Program, which includes handmade items from Guatemala and other countries that are serviced by their program. The unique items at this booth are sure to make it stand out, along with the idea of helping others when you make a purchase.
“Our booth is special because we purchase the items from the families our program helps and bring them home in our suitcases,” says Debbie Fettig of the God Share Program. “The proceeds from our sales go directly back into the God Share Program so we can help more people. By shopping with us you not only get a beautiful and unique hand-crafted item, you are also helping those less fortunate than yourself.”
In addition to the Street Fair, local businesses will be moving their inventory, along with special prices, to the city’s sidewalks.
Of course it wouldn’t be Ribfest without the ribs and this year’s teams, both new and old promise to bring out the big guns as they vie for the Judges and People’s Choice awards.
“This is a great community. Everyone is pulling together and working hard to make this a great event,” adds Berquist. “We have some new rib teams and some returning teams and it sounds like the teams are going all out with their themes this year, so I think it will be a really fun evening.”
The rib judging will be held at 4:30 p.m. with rib booths opening to the public at 5.
But the day isn’t just about the ribs.
Along with the ribs and shopping will be lots of entertainment begining with the Jeff Nelson Jam Session at 10 a.m. and running throughout the evening.
“The Jam Session is going to be great,” says Berquist. “We continue to get calls from people with different instruments wanting to sign up.”
As the ribs cook, you can watch line dancing demonstrations, get your face painted or chat with Dizzy the Clown and Cloudy, and the fun doesn’t end with the ribs.
As you choose your favorite ribs, you can enjoy dinner music as Music by Jay and Ashley entertains from 5 to 8 p.m.
Fun on the Run Games are sure to keep the younger Ribfest participants entertained from 5 to 9 p.m. until the Street Dance with KHook begins at 8:30.
“It’s unbelievable to see how much this event has grown,” says Berquist. “The Chamber is very excited to bring this year’s Ribfest to the community.”
If you’re planning to leave town this weekend, don’t go until Saturday, because it looks like Friday’s weather and ribs are going to be great for this year’s Best Of The West Ribfest.