Ribfest Returns to Fargo With All the FixingsThe five-day barbecue festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Fargodome parking lot with seven rib cookers, four bands and lots of activities for the family.
By: John Lamb, Forum Communications
If you go
When: From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Fargodome east parking lot, 1800 N. University Drive
Info: (701) 241-9100
Starting sometime after sun-up Wednesday, Fargo-Moorhead will catch a whiff of grilled and smoked meat as RibFest fires up its flavor.
The five-day barbecue festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Fargodome parking lot with seven rib cookers, four bands and lots of activities for the family.
Here’s what you need to know before going to the sauciest event of the summer.
Last year’s Critic’s Choice winner, Porky ’N’ Beans from Port St. Lucie, Fla., returns, as does People’s Choice winners Aussom Aussie BBQ from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Rounding out the rest of the ribbers are Cowboys Barbeque and Rib Co. from Weatherford, Texas; Johnson’s Bar-B-Que, Chesapeake, Va.; Willinghams World Champion BBQ, Annandale, Minn.; Rasta Joe’s BBQ, Plymouth, Ind.; and Desperado’s BBQ and Ribs, Hinckley, Ohio.
The gate admission is $5 per person, or $3 with a coupon available at area retailers. Parking in the Fargodome’s lot is $3. Motorcycles can park on the south plaza.
However, parking and gate admission are free during lunch hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
Parking is also free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday during the Riblet Fest.
Prices of ribs range from $6 to $25, depending on portion sizes. Lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday include the choice of cornbread, baked beans and coleslaw for two free sides with purchase of ribs or a sandwich.
And there’s free admission on Sunday.
The bands providing a soundtrack to this outdoor party start each night around 9 or 9:15 p.m. and end by 10:30 p.m. Here’s the daily lineup:
Wednesday – For the third consecutive year, local country rockers 32 Below will get the crowd fired up.
Thursday – Country star Rodney Atkins (pictured at left) plays rousing anthems (“These are My People” and “It’s America”) and tender family ballads (“Watching You” and “Honesty”).
*Friday – FM-based Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome blare ’70s funk and soul.
Saturday – Post-grunge ’90s rock act Candlebox takes the stage with its hits “Far Behind” and “You.”
*While not part of RibFest, country duo Montgomery Gentry takes the party inside the dome at 9:30 Friday night with the band’s signature hits “My Town,” “Hell Yeah” and “What do Ya Think about That?” Tickets are $20 and $25 and allow access to RibFest on Friday only. Tickets are available on www.inforumtix.com or by calling (855) 694-6367.
There’s more than just food and tunes to RibFest.
Games Galore hosts activities from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Wristbands to get into that fun are $8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and $12 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday wristbands are $8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and $12 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday the hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with $8 wristbands.
The Wade Henry Show, a juggler, unicyclist, rope-walker, fire-eater and equilibrist, performs at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., with two wandering shows before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Saturday he performs at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with two wandering shows before 7 p.m. On Sunday he performs at noon and 1:30 p.m., with two wandering shows before 5 p.m.
Saturday’s Riblet Fest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. features the local children’s musical act Penny & Pals performing at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Door prizes will be given away as will gifts from Yunker Farm.
Pets are not allowed at RibFest, except for trained service animals.
Lawn chairs are not allowed at the event.
Only small digital cameras are allowed; no audio or video recording is allowed.
Lamb is a reporter at the Forum in Fargo