The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 18, 2013

Conneaut’s rib/chili event was a lip-smackin’ success

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Hundreds of people pigged out on pork and other treats at last weekend’s Rib Burn-off and Chili Cook-off at Conneaut Township Park, organizers said.

Sponsored by the Conneaut Human Resources Center, the three-day event featured food, entertainment, more food and music at the lakefront park. Seven rib experts,  an all-time high since the food festival began in 2010, participated, said Deborah Newcomb, CHRC executive director. All indicated they would return in 2014, she said.

Some 500 ballots were cast in the People’s Choice category, and the top vote-getter was The Swhinery BBQ of McKeesport, Pa. Other winners include:

• Best Ribs — Breakwall BBQ (first place), Conneaut; Briquette’s Smokehouse (second place), Ashtabula; and Kay’s Place (third place), North Kingsville

• Best Sauce — Guy’s BBQ of Newton Falls

• Best Chili — Briquette’s Smokehouse

Newcomb said it was difficult to estimate how many people attended the event. A local club in charge of parking reported “a couple thousand” vehicles pulled into the lot, she said.

“The weather wasn’t so good on Friday, but people were coming in for take-out,” Newcomb said.

Folks who haven’t had their fill of barbecue will be making tracks to Ashtabula Township this weekend for the 11th annual Rib Burn-off at Lake Shore Park, 1700 E. 1st St. The three-day event begins Friday.