Championship Ribbers Sure to Treat Your Tastebuds

"Ribber" with trophy

Professional, national champion rib teams aka “Ribbers” (including Smokin’ Joe’s Hog Wild BBQ pictured here) will compete for trophies while offering their specially prepared foods to the public. The weekend will also feature a motorcycle cruise-in, beer garden, plenty of other food vendors, arts and crafts, as well as a kidzone, making this a great family-friendly event to attend. Photo courtesy Seneca Salamanca Chamber of Commerce

Get Ready to Rock Out at Salamanca’s 1st Annual Allegany Rockin’ Ribfest, Aug. 16-18

If you’re in the mood for some slow-cooked, hickory-smoked, mouth-watering ribs with a side of family-friendly fun and outstanding entertainment, get ready to roll out to the Seneca Salamanca Chamber of Commerce’s first annual Allegany Rockin’ Ribfest.

For three days, from Aug. 16-18, travel to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Salamanca, NY and check out professional, national champion rib teams, who will be sure to please with their uniquely prepared meats.

Jenny Ingrao, Member Services and Events Manager for the Seneca Salamanca Chamber, said the event stemmed from Allegany Riverfest, which the Chamber hosted in 2009 and 2010.

“When we had our events planning meeting last year, we discussed the fact that we still wanted to have music, but we also wanted to focus more on the community, to be more community minded,” she said. “Other counties have ribfests, so we talked to them and learned more about it. They were more than willing to help out.”


The rib teams (also known as ‘ribbers’) attending the festival are national competitors who have won awards for their dishes. Joe Henderson, owner of Smokin’ Joe’s Hog Wild Barbeque in Mansfield, Ohio said he attends 24 festivals throughout the country each year and is looking forward to adding a new venue to his travels.

“I enjoy meeting the people and going to a new area. It’s kind of like a fellowship. We travel to try and bring world class BBQ to everyone,” Henderson said. “It will be great to establish new contacts in Salamanca. We’re hoping it’s a great success.”

Gary Stephens of Sgt. Oinks BBQ Co. in Tiffin, Ohio agreed. “This is going to be a good event. People will enjoy it; they always do. They travel for these types of events, so I had no problem signing on,” he said.

Sgt. Oinks also competes throughout the summer, in approximately 21 cook-offs. Stephens said he travels quite a bit and most of his events are fundraisers that help community organizations.

“I like to attend events where the money trickles back into the community,” he said. “I’ve been in this region for other events, and we’ve done well. People are putting the word out, so I’m sure people will come out for it. It’s a nice area.”

There is no entrance fee for the Salamanca Ribfest. “People can come in and out as they please,” Ingrao noted. “They can buy full or half orders, and there’s different kinds of food too. You’ll also get daily doses of music.”


Entertainment at the Ribfest will include Harold Ford & The Cash Band performing "The Spirit of Johnny Cash” featuring Laura Lucy as June Carter, as well as West of the Mark from Buffalo, NY.

Jay Urbaniak, lead vocalist for West of the Mark, said the band performed at Salamanca’s Allegany Riverfests, and he’s excited about playing the new event.

“This is brand new for us, and for Salamanca. Anytime there’s BBQ involved, our band is all for it,” he said. “This is good food, good music, and we’re ready for a new venue and to meet new people.”

According to Urbaniak, West of the Mark is “a modern day country band” with inspiration stemming from John Denver, Dierks Bentley and Johnny Cash. Founded in 2004, the band has been honored with several awards and has opened for approximately 30 national acts to date.

“We play songs from the 90’s on up with a splash of stuff from the 70’s,” he said. “It’s upbeat and energetic.”

Additional groups performing over the weekend include The Bob Hartle Band of Bradford, Pa.; The Blues Hounds of Irving, NY; and Willow Creek Band of Dunkirk, NY.

“We also have family events,” Ingrao said, noting there will be face painting and bounce houses for the kids. “We wanted to gear it towards families. It’s a fun, family-oriented weekend, and there isn’t anything kids cannot do.”

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