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Posted 8/08/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

How much do I love barbecued ribs? Well, let’s just say that I haven’t yet missed Watford City’s Ribfest. Suffice it to say, barbecued ribs pretty much top my list when it comes to a favorite food.
I don’t care how ribs are prepared. They can be smoked, marinated in super secret sauces and herbs, dry-rubbed or slathered in barbecue sauce. I love them all just so long as the meat is falling off the bone.
Call it my fatal flaw when it comes to food. But given the choice of eating just about any food, a plate overflowing with good ribs is going to be pretty darn hard to beat. There is nothing quite like sitting down and facing a heaping pile of ribs on a plate and wondering who is going to be the victor. Me or the ribs.
Like I said, I haven’t missed a single Watford City Ribfest since the event began. In the past, I’ve rearranged my entire summer schedule so that I wouldn’t miss the chance to “pig out.” Heck, I’ve even busted my tail off last year to drive back from Billings in record time so that I would have time to make my way up and down Main Street and eat my way from booth to booth.
So you can imagine my dismay this year when a conflict came up that literally forced me to be out of town this Friday.
The conflict that easily bested another day of gastronomic delight for me was that Aug. 10 also happens to be the day that my oldest son, Justin, will be going through his “White Coat Ceremony” at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Now while thousands of pounds of ribs just waiting to be consumed is not something that I normally would take a pass on, I’m going to have to put aside one day of gluttony and become a very proud parent as I watch my son embark upon another minimum of four years of schooling and three years of residency that will culminate in him becoming a doctor.
So while I will regrettably miss this year’s Best Of The West Ribfest this Friday, that doesn’t mean that everyone else shouldn’t plan on being in “hog heaven” and enjoying all of the activities associated with this year’s event. Not only will there be plenty of lip-smacking and finger-licking ribs that will go on sale at 5 p.m., but there will also be plenty of activities all day long. From a Street Fair and Classic Car Show that starts at 10 a.m. to children’s contests and games, as well as live music, a street dance and fireworks, there will be something for everyone.
So if you are a rib lover like me, you won’t want to miss this year’s Ribfest.
Ever since it was created, Ribfest has grown to become one of Watford City’s most fun and unique events. And this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.
So mark your calendars for this Friday and take in all of the fun of Ribfest. And don’t forget to bring a hearty appetite.