SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off officially kicks off Wednesday. It is the last big barbeque of the summer and it is back in Sparks for the 26th year.
This year, 23 of the best rib cookers in the world will be competing for the top prize. "It's the best of the best nationally and they have to have a set up where they can handle high volume barbeque, because really that’s what it is, they're feeding a lot of people," said Nugget Director of Marketing Communications Randy Kennedy.
Thousands of rib lovers will be walking the streets of Victorian Square during the event. Officials estimate more than half a million people will attend the event through Monday. "The cookers are all characters, they're all fun and they just want to feed people a good meal, show people a good time, there is just a million and one sites to see," said Kennedy.
Owner of Checkered Pig BBQ Tommy Houston is from Virginia and is attending the Rib Cook-Off for his 13th time. He won a decade ago and hopes to leave with a victory this year. "Nobody on the street does hush puppies, that’s a Southern thing, and that’s one of our big specialties, and we do a lean pork, we do ham, I think I’ve got some secrets up my sleeve for this year."
Andrew Mackay of Aussom Aussie Australian BBQ has been part of the Rib Cook-Off since the 1990s. He guarantees you will leave his tent satisfied. "We use apple and cherry to smoke our ribs and we've also got shrimp and corn bread that is really fat."
The family-friendly event begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and runs through Labor Day. It includes a variety of activities like the Rib Eating Championship, a carnival area, and entertainment.
If you plan on attending the event, a daily shuttle service from Legends at Sparks Marina will run throughout the event, except on Monday. For more information, click here