(Crystal A. Proxmire, 2/5/2011)
The Annual Rib Burn Off was a huge success, with ribs running out before 4:00 despite the heavy snow and cold weather conditions. The event, part of the annual Ferndale Blues Festival, raises money for Ferndale Youth Assistance and Michigan AIDS Coalition.
Marty O’ Neill of State Farm, and his team the Hogs, took the Judge’s Choice Award for the third year in a row. Judges Craig Covey, Michael Malinzak, Jeff Miller, Monica Mills and Chris Olsen had a difficult time choosing between the eight teams that participated. Each team cooks up slabs of ribs using their own special seasonings and methods, and visitors are able to sample two ribs from each team. “They are all so good,” Covey said. “They are all winners in my book. Let me say the competition is pretty stiff.”
Attendees are able to put a punch card in the pig of their choosing, as a way to vote for their favorites. These cards are tallied for what Dean Bach, owner of Dino’s Lounge and organizer of the Rib Burn Off, calls the “They love me, they really, really love me People’s Choice Award.” This year attendees selected team #1, The East Side Pigs, which was led by Rick Didia and Mary Gindhart.
The Team Spirit Award went to Team #4, Pig Fat Rules.
In addition to a ton of ribs, the event gave Ferndalians and visitors a chance to hear some great music from the Hunter Brooks Band and the Reefermen, and enjoy some refreshing libations in a gigantic heated tent put up special for the event.
The Blues Festival carries on through Sunday, with more information available at http://www.ferndalebluesfestival.org/.