Rib cook-off to raise money for Habitat for HumanityLUVERNE — Rib lovers should grab a handful of napkins, some family members and an appetite and head down to the inaugural Southwest Minnesota Habitat for Humanity Barbeque Cook-Off Friday night at the Luverne City Park.
LUVERNE — Rib lovers should grab a handful of napkins, some family members and an appetite and head down to the inaugural Southwest Minnesota Habitat for Humanity Barbeque Cook-Off Friday night at the Luverne City Park.
The cook-off is part of the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce’s Music, Meals and Meander event, which begins at 5 p.m. with a beer garden sponsored by the chamber and kids’ games, balloons and snow cones sponsored by the First Assembly of God Church.
“The cook-off opens at 5:30 p.m.,” said Habitat for Humanity board member Pam Dobson. “Judging begins at 6 p.m. and announcements at 8 p.m.”
Dobson said the board was trying to come up with a good idea for a fundraiser when a pork rib cook-off was suggested.
“We have nine participants, and each gets 30 pounds of meat to cook,” she said. “They all have their own recipes.”
The grillers, who come from Rushmore, Pipestone, Luverne and other communities, are excited about the competition, Dobson said.
“One contestant has taken on the Habitat theme, with Rafter Ribs and a table with a little picket fence,” she added.
Another competitor has a grill so big he can’t get it to the competition without a special trailer, so he will bring his ribs to the contest in roasters.
“They are coming in to tell us what kind of space they need for their equipment,” Dobson said. “It should be interesting to see what kind of set-ups they have.”
The smack talking has already begun, she admitted.
“Some of these grillers are very respected for having great ribs, and people are saying they will walk away the winners,” Dobson laughed. “The little grillers are getting scared.”
Actually, she said, she isn’t supposed to call the participants “grillers.”
“I’ve heard they don’t like that,” she said, then admitted she didn’t know how else to refer to them.
Judges for the event are Matt Widboom, Andy Steensma and Laurie Ness. There are three categories: sweetest ribs, spiciest ribs and best of show, as well as a people’s choice award.
“The people partaking can vote on that,” Dobson said.
To be an eater — as opposed to a griller — people can purchase a bracelet at the booth in the park. The bracelet entitles them to all the ribs they can eat, with some sweet corn on the side. Beverages will be available at other vender booths in the park.
The winner of the best of show category gets a cash prize, and other categories bring a prize sure to make any barbecue chef smile — more meat to cook.
“Of course, the winners also get bragging right,” Dobson stated.
The names of some of the rib recipes are downright intriguing, such as Take ‘em to the Bank Good, Luv at First Bite, Shaq-tacular Sweet Ribs, Man Cave Sweet and Salty, Hog from Hell and Hog Heaven.
“Anything goes,” Dobson said.
She is hoping the fundraiser becomes an annual event — one that will be supportive for Habitat for Humanity.
“We have the land in Luverne” to build on, Dobson stated. “But we don’t have the funds. This is the first year Habitat has not been able to build a home since we formed in 2000.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. in the park, there will be free live music on two stages, including performances by Jasper Blowhards, Tequila Sunrise, Trefoil Celtic Band, Prairie Grass and Not Exactly.