August 12, 2014

Ribfest draws record crowd

By Stephanie Allums
Farmer Staff Writer

It didn’t take more than 25 minutes before some of the Ribfest teams were sold out of a few hundred pounds of slow-cooked ribs on Friday, Aug. 8, at the 2014 Best of the West Ribfest.
For the 11th year, the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce and Ribfest Committee have worked long hours to put together this well-attended community event. According to Committee Chair Jessie Scofield, there were approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people on Main Street throughout the day on Friday.
“This was the biggest Ribfest yet,” Scofield said. “It just keeps getting better because of the great teams that we have with great ideas and enthusiasm. The community really pulls through to make it all go smoothly.”
South Park Lounge won over the judges’ tastebuds and took First Place in the Ribfest Contest. This was their first time competing in Ribfest.
In Second Place was Target Logistics. And Showmanship was awarded to Exhilarated Productions.
There were a total 22 teams that participated this year, which is more than ever before.
“There were so many teams that wanted to participate - so we just made a little more room,” Scofield said. At the last minute, the Main Street section that was blocked off to accommodate tents, vendors and Ribfest teams was extended a bit further north.
Anyone who was in the vicinity of downtown on Friday can attest to the mouth-watering aroma set off from the numerous smokers and grills preparing the thousands of pounds of ribs, burgers, bratwursts, beans, jalapeno poppers and more.
As smoked filled the air, people crowded the streets - shopping at the street fair, until 5 p.m. rolled around, when they could begin tasting the ribs. Children released energy in the Kids Zone with the inflatable games and bounce houses. And local bands including Lonesome Willy, Getting’ Outta Dodge, Badlands Express, and Jessie Veeder-Scofield, pumped up the crowd with their music.  
“I love that this event gets families and kids downtown to enjoy the Kids Zone and the Showdown,” Scofield said. “And of course, the live music. I just really love seeing the community come together and enjoying one another.”
It takes more than just a planning committee for an event like this to be successful, Scofield said.
“I would like to thank all of the sponsors, the volunteers and the committee members who worked so hard to make this such a successful event,” Scofield said.
This is her third year as chair of the Ribfest Committee and she hopes to continue this event on Main Street each year.
“It’s the perfect atmosphere and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said.