Organizers Get Rib Fest Plans Cooking

The fifth annual Ohio Valley Rib & Chicken Cook-Off is slated June 27-28 at Wheeling Heritage Port.

The annual event includes free musical entertainment at the Ohio Riverfront venue. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the best rib and chicken cooks that also will be selling their dishes during the festival. The cook-off opens at noon daily with entertainment from 3-11 p.m each day.

Organizer Bill Brooks said new this year is an open mic time for local acts to perform each day from 2-4 p.m.

Carl Carenbauer of Carenbauer Distributing said he enjoys the festival’s atmosphere and being a sponsor.

“Food, cold beer and Heritage Port – you can’t get any better combination. I look forward to it every summer,” Carenbauer said.

Ozzie Hyde, manager of Quaker Steak & Lube, a new sponsor this year, said he is in favor of any festival that helps bring more people into downtown Wheeling. Quaker Steak marketing manager Jeramiah Freeland said the restaurant strives to become part of as many community events as possible.

“We want to bring more business to downtown and Wheeling and we work hard to do that,” Freeland said.

Brooks said he is thrilled the cook-off continues to attract more people and participating businesses.

“They make it bigger and better for the valley,” Brooks added.

Last year, the Swhinery of Pittsburgh won in three categories: Grand Champion, Best Chicken and Best Ribs. Other categories cooks will compete in include People’s Choice and Second Place Ribs.