August 5, 2014

Are you ready for some ribs?

By Stephanie Allums
Farmer Staff Writer

Nearly 4,000 pounds of customized ribs will be consumed in Watford City on Main Street on Friday, Aug. 8, during the 11th Annual Best of the West Ribfest and Street Fair.
“Ribfest just gets bigger and better every year,” committee member Janel Lee said. “It’s a great way to bring the community together and celebrate the best parts of summer with music, friends and food.”
Out of the 22 Ribfest teams, there are a handful of first-time teams and a bunch of returning teams. Each team is to contribute at least 175 pounds of cooked ribs, Committee Chair Jessie Scofield said.
“We originally had a limit of 20 teams,” Scofield said. “But there were so many teams that wanted to participate - so we made a little more room. This is going to be an interesting and cool Ribfest event because of all of the changes. There are going to be a ton of people on Main Street.”
Kim Trupe with Suds Laundry said, she and her team are excited to participate in Ribfest for the first time.
“We came downtown last year for Ribfest and had so much fun, we just had to have our own booth this year,” Trupe said. “We just love the small town community feel of this event.”
Trupe’s son, Ryan, is the manager of Suds Laundry. They are gathering some family members to help run their booth. She said the recipe that they will be using is one they came across about six years ago that they absolutely love and enjoy.
“We are looking forward to having a lot of fun and tasting other teams’ ribs, too,” Trupe said.
Another first-time Ribfest team is E&M Service. Catherine Benth said E&M Service is making this a family event for their employees. Their booth will be run by employees, their spouses and children.
“We decided that it would be fun to involve our families in this community event,” Benth said. “It’s a great thing to do with our kids. It will be great to spend the day downtown with our coworkers and families outside of the office.”
She said her favorite part from past years of attending Ribfest was seeing and meeting different people downtown. She said it’s a great social event and place to mingle.
Since 2008, Power Fuels/Nuverra has been competing in the Best of the West Ribfest Contest. They are returning this year with even more ribs than last year, Joey Olson said.
“We started with 200 pounds of ribs our first year, and every year since we have added more because they are gone so fast,” Olson said. “This year we will be cooking 500 pounds of ribs.”
Olson said they are adding a little southern twist to their recipe this year. One of their current employees used to be a chef in Georgia and they are utilizing his skills.
“We are also bringing back the jalapeno poppers,” Olson said. “They are jalapenos wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese. Last year we did 500 and they were gone in no time. So this year we are doing 1,000 of them. They will be served as part of the meal with the ribs.”
Olson said he looks forward to seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they taste the ribs. This team is seeking a winning spot this year.
However, the Whiting/Monjores team is seeking first place again, after sweeping the top spot at last year’s Ribfest.
“It was our first time participating last year and we took first place,” said Brooke Solberg with Whiting. “We were kind of flying by the seat of our pants. But this year, we are pulling together and being a little more organized. We are hoping for another first place win.”
All proceeds from this team last year were donated to the local Relay For Life - equalling $3,700 last year, Solberg said.
“It would be nice to add the $1,000 first place winnings to our local charity donation, like we did last year,” Solberg said. “We plan on doing the same thing this year.”
Solberg said they plan to prepare 300 pounds of ribs this year, and they will have roughly 20 people helping serve food at their booth. Along with the ribs, they will also serve a BBQ lunch and have a bake sale going on.
“It was a beautiful day for this event last year and I hope it’s the same this year,” Solberg said.
There will be a First Place Judge’s Choice Award of $1,000 and a traveling trophy, sponsored by Barrett Pharmacy & Variety; second place will receive $500, sponsored by MBI Energy Services; and there will be a Booth Showmanship award of $250, sponsored by Whippin’ Stitch.
“Ribfest is one of the longest running Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce events,” Scofield said. “It’s amazing to see how bustling Main Street is and how important Main Street is to Watford City. It’s cool how this event brings people together.”
Last year, there were nearly 2,000 people in downtown Watford City throughout the day.
There will be concession booths, a street fair beginning at 10 a.m., and local performances by Jessie Veeder Scofield, Lonesome Willy, Getting Outta Dodge, and Badlands Express. There will also be inflatable kids’ games, a dunking tank, a Diaper Derby, and a Children’s Showdown at noon.
In addition to those attractions, there will also be a Classic Car Show, a few friendly rounds of Bingo, and ping-pong ball drops throughout the day. Each ping-pong ball will feature a discount or giveaway listed for a local Main Street shop.
“This is a great way to celebrate summer,” Scofield said. “This event just gets bigger and better every year. As long as I am chair, we will always have Ribfest downtown - it’s the perfect atmosphere. And I’m glad to be a part of it.”
After the action dies down on Main Street, country music artist Travis Tritt will be performing at the McKenzie County Fairgrounds at 8:30 p.m., for the Bash on the Grass event.
There will be a Wounded Warrior Golf Tournament at the Watford City Golf Course during the day.
The official Best of the West Ribfest website is