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Charleston WV’s Annual Ribfest
The Secret is in the Sauce!

by Ben Crookshanks

ome of the best foods are the messiest. Foods such as Philly cheese steak sandwiches, barbecued ribs and barbecued chicken. These are foods meant to be eaten with the fingers – the only way to really enjoy them. Most of us think of meat marinated, cooked and served with barbecue sauce as a southern food. Maybe at one time, but it is not a regional thing any more. You can find barbecue places in the middle of New York City.

Charter Communication’s Annual Ribfest, a celebration of the South’s gift to humanity, started out small. Only 1,700 people showed up for the first Ribfest, held on Magic Island in downtown Charleston. The following year the event was moved to Laidley Field, two blocks from the Capitol, where it has been held ever since. That was a smart move. Over 40,000 people attended last year and it keeps getting bigger every year. The Ribfest features world class, award winning vendors from all over the United States, each serving their BBQ specialty. To go along with the BBQ, there are arts and crafts booths, amusement rides and nightly entertainment.

This year’s featured acts are: Friday night—Highway 101 and Saturday night—The Platters. It all gets underway on Thursday July 29 at 4p.m. to 11 p.m. Same thing Friday. Saturday is all day from 10a.m. to 11p.m. Sunday August 1 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you have any questions about Ribfest, you can call (304) 984-2412 or check out the web site: www.bbqribfest.netfirms.com