Organizer promises an even bigger and better Ribfest

Don’t let the name fool you. RibFest is about a lot more than ribs.

Granted, the rib cooking contest, rib tasting, and all-you can eat rib and chicken buffet are still the focal points of the fourth annual event at B’s on the River in Watertown. But the June 22 event will also feature a festival-like atmosphere including live music, plenty of games for kids, a bean bag tournament, and even a fireworks display.

“The event was so well received last year,” B’s on the River owner Bryan Baumann said. “We just want to keep adding more to it and making it a good event.”

Though this is the fourth RibFest at the golf course and restaurant, it’s really more like the second year in its current format. Baumann described a low key event for the first two years, which really expanded and took off in 2012. This year, Baumann is adding even more events — fireworks and local craft beer and winery tasting — and he has plans to make the event even bigger in the future.

“The first year was kind of mellow,” Baumann said. “We threw something together at the last minute. The second year, we kept it kind of mellow because we had a huge catering event that weekend. Last year, we really blew it up. Next year, we’ll probably have carnival rides, and we might try to bring in a big name singer. Every year it’s going to get bigger.”

This year’s event will partially benefit Love INC in Delano, as well as the Delano Lions Club. The event starts at 8 a.m., with the rib cooking contest, which lasts until 3 p.m. A rib tasting will be held at 3:30 p.m., where attendees can purchase a tasting kit and sample ribs from all the participants in the contest. The $12 all-you-can-eat rib and chicken buffet will be served from 4 p.m. until it is gone. Pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, brats and hot dogs will also be available.

There was also be a garden tractor pull, featuring riding lawn mowers, from 1-5 p.m., and free kids events, including jumping castles, a golf game, face painting and balloon making, from 1-6 p.m.

A bean bag tournament will begin at 2 p.m., along with live music. The Wally Pikal band with Lowell Schubert will play from 2-5 p.m., and The Shaw Brothers will play from 6-10 p.m. Fireworks are set to begin at 10:15 p.m. The radio station 98 Country will also be at the event giving away prizes and upcoming concert tickets.

“So many people are into back-yard cooking and barbecuing,” Baumann said. “This event gives people a chance to taste a bunch of different ribs. And it’s just a fun event to get people out and about and moving around. It’s one way to give back to our community.”


Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]