RibFest ends after 20 years in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KSFY) - The people behind RibFest are calling it quits.

SMG Sioux Falls announced in a news release Wednesday afternoon that it is cancelling the annual event.

“RibFest enjoyed many successes over the past 20 years thanks to the thousands of patrons who attended, the incredible rib vendors from across the country, strong sponsor support, and the tireless effort of our staff. While it was a difficult decision to make, we are pleased that the event provided many great memories over the past two decades for the region,” SMG Sioux Falls General Manager Terry Torkildson said.

RibFest got it's start in the parking lot of the Sioux Falls Arena in 1998. It featured a few rib vendors and local and regional musicians. Over the years, the event drew big crowds and big name musicians.

In 2014, RibFest moved to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. The move was considered a successful one. 47,000 people attended that year, which included three nights of classic rock music.

That year saw RibFest’s largest attendance with 47,000 people enjoying classic rock music all three nights of the event. Starting in 2015, RibFest was produced in partnership with Pepper Entertainment.

Torkildson says the decision to end RibFest is based on limited resources.

“The entertainment landscape has continued to expand over recent years with the opening of Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, The District and soon to be Levitt Shell,” Torkildson said. “SMG is refocusing its resources and efforts to managing and producing events in the venues it manages in Sioux Falls.”

SMG Sioux Falls manages the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Orpheum Theater Center, and Sioux Falls Stadium.