This year there will be three new outfits serving up ribs for a total of 23 mouth-watering rib cookers.
- Blazin’ Bronco BBQ (new)
- Paleo Nicks BBQ (new)
- Porky Chicks BBQ (new)
- Aussie Aussie BBQ
- Austin’s Texas Lighting BBQ
- Back Forty Texas BBQ
- BJ’s BBQ
- Bourbon Q
- Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ
- Carson City BBQ
- Checkered Pig BBQ
- Chicago BBQ Co. (2017 winner)
- Desperado’s BBQ & Rib Co.
- Famous Dave’s BBQ
- Hole In The Wall BBQ
- Joey’s Texas Thunder BBQ
- Just North Of Memphis BBQ
- Montana Q Bar-B-Que House
- Porky-N-Beans BBQ
- Rasta Joe’s BBQ Inc.
- Texas Outlaw Barbecue
- The Barbecue Company Inc.
- Uncle Bub’s
To me, the best way to enjoy the rib cook-off is to get a seat in Rib Village. It’s all-you-can-eat ribs, all-you-can-drink beer and wine, plus ice cream, fruits, salads, and all the fixins. I have not had one rib since last year’s event I ate so many ribs in Rib Village.
A table of 10 in Rib Village is $800 plus fees and a single seat is $100 plus fees. That may sound like a lot of money, but really it’s not if you think about it. There’s no standing in a long line at the cookers or paying $8 or more for three or four ribs. A hundred bucks gets you ribs from all 23 cookers plus all the extras. Really, it’s a no-brainer.
Rib Village hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. There’s a brunch each day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The Ribster Lunch is 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Monday.
Besides all the ribs, there’s my favorite part of the whole thing: free concerts. This year there are some really great bands playing on two stages every day. The headliners play on the ZYN main stage from 7 to 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted, and they are:
- Wednesday, Aug. 29: Colt Ford
- Thursday, Aug. 30: Mark McGrath
- Friday, Aug. 31: Joe Diffie
- Sat. Sept. 1: 10,000 Maniacs
- Sunday, Sept. 2: Jana Cramer
- Monday, Sept. 3: Blind Melon (3 to 5 p.m.)
Playing on the Floor & Decor Stage are:
- Wednesday, Aug. 29: Greg Golden Band (2 to 5 p.m.), Buddy Emmer Band (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
- Thursday, Aug. 30: Musicole (2 to 5 p.m.), John Dawson Band (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
- Friday, Aug. 31: Whiskey Preachers (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), Kingfinger (2 to 5 p.m.), Audio Sky (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
- Saturday, Sept. 1: Rick Hammond Band (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), Decoy (2 to 5 p.m.), Garage Boys (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
- Sunday, Sept. 2: Treedom Band (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), Milton Mer;os (2 to 5 p.m.), Jake’s Garage Band (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
- Monday, Sept. 3: Delta Cat (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Rib Cook Off Awards (2 p.m.)
This is the year’s most popular events and it’s hot, so expect a huge crowd every day. Take it easy and stay cool, but remember to eat lots of ribs while listening to great music. See you there! For more information and tickets visit: https://nuggetribcookoff.com/