BBQ Lovers Ignore Weather

WHEELING – His cheeks covered in barbecue sauce, it was easy to see that Moundsville resident Tom Bland was enjoying himself Saturday at the Ohio Valley Rib & Chicken Cook-Off.

Bland was among the many people sitting at Wheeling Heritage Port eating their barbecued chicken and ribs and all the other fixin’s that come with them. Bland decided to try baby back ribs first which he said had dry rub seasoning and sauce on them.

”It’s real good food and music. If the rain would just hold off,” Bland said just as a clap of thunder struck a few miles away.

Wheeling resident Brian Haden’s first dish was a pork sandwich, though he noted the pork still was on a rib bone. That didn’t stop him from removing from the bun and chowing down anyway.

”It’s very good. … I think the crowd is so-so because of the rain,” Haden said, adding he planned on voting for a vendor for the People’s Choice Award.

”I’m going to have a little bit more before I do,” Haden noted.

Cook-Off award winners included: The Swhinery of Pittsburgh represented by Shawn Verosky won Grand Champion, Best Chicken and Best Ribs; Jeanne’s Bourbon Street BBQ represented by Ken and Jeanne Rose of Colerain won People’s Choice; and Big E’s Southern ”Q” of Columbus, Ohio, represented by Eric Smith won Second Place Ribs.