Sure, there's that big, corporate rib festival downtown this weekend, like there is every Memorial Weekend, with barbecue from pit masters you've never heard of and music from bands you haven't liked in two decades.
Thankfully, those aren't the only ribs in town. On Monday, May 30, Iron Barley will host their third annual Rib Off from 2-7 p.m. Not only will they feature barbecue from sixteen local restaurants and bars and four independent barbecue teams, and a cooking contest for kids, but all the proceeds will go directly to a fund to build Marine Corporal Todd Nicely a special needs house.
Nicely, who's from Arnold, Missouri, stepped on an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan, which left him a quadruple amputee.
Iron Barley's Gen Coghill explained, "Each year we donated the money to the USO and Fischer House. This year [owner, chef and Gen's husband] Tom [Coghill] was watching the news and saw Todd Nicely. This would be something we would like to do."
One hundred percent of the $20 Rib Fest cover charge will go to Nicely's fund. It'll get you samplings of each team's ribs. "Each team will be cooking ribs and lots of them," said Gen Coghill. "We also have the options to cook a chef choice, which is anything cooked on the grill. There is best sauce, and peoples choice awards as well for cash prizes and trophies given to the teams for first, second, and third place."
If the samples aren't enough, they'll also be selling pulled pork, Buffalo-style chicken brats, maple brats, traditional brats, a chicken plate, spare ribs, barbecue beef plates, and chops and kraut. It's Iron Barley, so there's going to be lots of beer, of course. Miller Lite's a sponsor. They'll also have mojitos, watermelon with vodka, and lemonade with vodka among lots of other cocktails.
The cover charge also gives you the opportunity to see live music by the Boss Hall Band, the Camp-West Duo, Powder Mill, and the Jeremiah Johnson Band with the Siders. That's better than Puddle of Mudd.
For $25, your little darling can enter the kids cooking contest, as long as he's between ages 7 and 14. At press time, Gen Coghill said that they don't have any entrants. Get the kids' summer vacation off to a productive start; the ego boost of competing in a cooking contest might entice them to do kitchen duty at home for the rest of the summer.
Here's the restaurants and teams you can expect to see in front of Iron Barley, getting their grill on, this Memorial Day:
Restaurant Teams Iron Barley Pork Assassins Hwy 61 Roadhouse Patch Tavern The Haven Colorado Bob's Ship of Fools Keeton's Double Play Famous Bar Sandrina's Tom's Bar & Grill Flaco's Cocina The Piccadilly at Manhattan Red's 8th Inning Samies Robust Local Harvest Wildwood Pub & Grill
Independent Teams Beer, Bellies and Bones Q in Lou Roland the Main Man Del Norte Divas