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RibFest BBQ Vendors Ready For Tough Competition

May 29, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

RibFest BBQ Vendors Ready For Tough Competition

For 17 years, bands have taken the stage and people have tasted the barbeque at RibFest. It's a fun weekend for everyone who stops by, but it's serious business for the barbeque vendors.

"We love coming to Sioux Falls. The people of South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, they all know their barbeque, ok?" cook Jon Bigalk said.

Bigalk comes from Annondale, Minnesota and has been here eight straight years. One of his competitors has been around just as long, but is from Australia.

"We're a little bit different, but we do shrimp on the barbie as well," cook Paul Mackay said.

Mackay's unique Australian influence into barbeque won his team RibFest's top prize a year ago.

"We enjoy the competition-side of things because it kind of keeps us sharp, right? There's a little bit of tweak here, a little bit of tweak there. Sometimes we have to add a little bit of heat or take a little bit of heat away depending on where you're at in the country," Mackay said.

Each stand has their own flare.

"Our ribs are served with the sauces on the side, so we use just the Memphis dry rub and then we serve the sauces on the side," Bigalk said.

Setting the competition aside, each vendor has a unique experience from RibFest that they'll always remember, experiences that involve the people that stop by.

"We have memories of people standing in the rain here and waiting for their ribs, waiting for them to come off the grill and not thinking about the fact that it was raining. The people here are awesome to come out here and support us," Mackay said.

"It's meeting the people. Bottom line, we have something, this is the only place in the world that they're going to be able to get our ribs," Bigalk said.

"We just love getting out here and meeting the people that come out here and really enjoy barbeque," Mackay said.

RibFest runs through Sunday at the fairgrounds, rain or shine. The rib vendors will keep the grills hot all weekend, offering plenty of opportunity for people to enjoy national and international flavors.

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