Posted 8/07/13 (Wed)
By Olivia Sundeen
Time and some oil in the ground really can change a community, along with its events. That being said, Ribfest is back, and actually bigger and better than past years.
“I can remember five years ago Ribfest was so small it was being held in the parking lot of First International Bank,” stated Chamber of Commerce Secretary Mary Gumke.
After that the Chamber moved the event to Main Street in an attempt to bring business to Main Street.
But now, five years and many ribs later, Ribfest is practically outgrowing Watford City’s Main Street.
“We have talked about moving it to the fairgrounds,” stated Gumke, “but because it’s a Chamber event, we want to keep it on Main Street so our businesses can benefit.”
Last year there were 16 teams that participated in Ribfest. This year the Chamber limited it to 20 teams.
“Each team is required to cook a minimum of 175 pounds of ribs,” stated Gumke. “Last year, there were 5,000 pounds of ribs total and every team sold out.”
Teams will be competing for the judge’s vote as well as the People’s Choice Award.
“Teams really seem to enjoy the friendly competition,” stated Gumke. “It is a nice way to get businesses to showcase Main Street and get involved with community members.”
One oil company that has always been a big Ribfest competitor is the Power Fuels team.
Last year, they cooked 300 pounds of ribs and sold out in the first 15 minutes. This year they have committed to make 500 pounds.
“We always enjoy doing this for the community,” stated Power Fuels employee Joey Olson. “Every year our booth gets a little bigger and the line gets a little longer. It is very fun to see.”
Gumke and other Chamber members would like to encourage everyone to come down and check out the event.
The annual event, which will also include a car show and street fair, will be held this Friday on Watford City’s Main Street.
The Street Fair and Car Show will begin at 10 a.m. At noon the Children’s Show Down will take place. At this time, the Jump ’n Fun Inflatable Games will begin along with the Ping Pong Drop. At 12:30 p.m., the Diaper Derby will take off followed by Bingo at 1 p.m. From 2 to 7 p.m., there will be live bluegrass/country music. Lindsay’s Line Dancers will perform at 4 p.m., just as the Ribfest judging gets underway. Finally, at 5 p.m., the teams will open up their rib booths to everyone. To close the night, Smokehouse will play at the Street Dance from 8:30 to 12:30 a.m.
“Come enjoy our Main Street and this awesome event,” stated Gumke. “As our city grows out, our Main Street may not always be there. Let’s enjoy it.”