Ribfest is a three day event at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in Downtown Kalamazoo. As one of the original festivals held downtown, Ribfest has been taking place for 30 years and generates an average attendance of 20,000 people during the three day festival.
The Best Ribs in Kalamazoo is exclusively for licensed BBQ restaurants and caterers located in the local Kalamazoo area. On Thursday night of Ribfest (August 3), we will have a special “Best Ribs in Kalamazoo” tent where festival attendees can purchase a ticket to gain access to the tent and sample from the local rib vendors. This is the perfect opportunity for local Kalamazoo rib vendors to showcase their specialty BBQ, get in front of a new audience for future business, and gain notoriety with Kalamazoo’s premier rib event.
While attendees go around and sample from each vendor, they’ll be able to submit their vote for “People’s Choice”. There will also be a panel of judges comprised of chefs, media partners and sponsors who will do a blind taste test from the rib vendors, and will rate the entries based on meat tenderness, texture, flavors and the sauce richness with a weighted judging scale.
The winner of the “Best Ribs in Kalamazoo” competition and runner-up will be awarded with a trophy and cash prize ($600 for first, $300 for second, and $100 for third). The winner gains the right to secure a three-day rib vending booth space at a discounted rate in the 2019 Ribfest, as available booth space is very limited each year.
Proceeds from the Kalamazoo Ribfest go to benefit the Arc Community Advocates who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to empower them to live a life that is fully included in the community, and advocate on their behalf.
Date: Thursday, August 2 from 5-8 pm Official judging panel from 5-6 pm Tent open to public from 6-8 pm for rib sampling *Rib vendors must arrive by 4:30 pm for set up*Cost: Free, no booth fee to enter competition
BBQ Vendor provides: 200 BBQ rib samples (1-2 bones per sample) *cooking done off site and brought to event* Any chafing dishes and all other necessary equipment needed for event-day (sternos, serving tools & utensils, etc.)
Event provides: (1) 8 ft. table underneath large tent Sampling plates for all attendees Business name and link to website listed on the Kalamazoo Ribfest website Business name listed in Kalamazoo Ribfest brochures distributed during event Official judging panel with scoring sheets All ballot forms for attendees to vote for People’s Choice
Restrictions: Limited to licensed restaurants and catering businesses operating in Kalamazoo county Limited to the first 10 approved entries
Benefits: Opportunity to gain marketing exposure for your BBQ catering/restaurant Chance to win cash prizes and awards including a discounted space at the 2019 Ribfest, as booth space is extremely limited Winners will be announced on the radio and at Ribfest following the competition. Event proceeds support our charity partner, Arc Community Advocates