RibFest vendors say the new location is a huge success - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

RibFest vendors say the new location is a huge success

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RibFest's organizers said this year's event may be the biggest yet.

The rib vendors cooking up some great barbecue told us the changes this year have them busier than ever.

It's the 17th annual RibFest in Sioux Falls but at a new venue, the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.

And the vendors said the change is good.

The new location to serve up barbecue at this year's RibFest is a sizzling success.

RibFest vendor Donna Rice said "we have fabulous weather this year, and because we've been blessed with the heat, I think it's great to have grass and trees, rather than blacktop and pavement for our people to sit on."

RibFest vendor Dan Johnson said "night and day, this is better. I like it better, more people, more space."

Which is what keeps these grills going, non-stop.

"To me, you've got plenty of time to take a break when they put you under the ground. I love doing business. This is a great community, and the people come out and support the event. My one goal is to make sure when they come out, that we can feed them," Johnson said.

"Last night was a helluva night, and it's probably our best opening night in any show we've done this year," Rice said.

Besides a new venue RibFest organizers also brought in a new sponsor.

Sioux Falls Arena director of marketing Rick Huffman said "it's been great having that charitable tie-in with the Brennan Rock and Roll Academy, a program of the Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire, we're going to share the profits this year with that program."

One thing that hasn't changed is vendors are always ready to serve the hungry crowds.

"Absolutely, I don't sleep, so I cook all the time," Johnson laughed.

"We are always ready, that's my job, to be ready," Rice said.

Many of the vendors who come to RibFest are from all over the country but they spend so much time preparing and cooking that, they don't have much time for anything else.

RibFest organizers said the event is off to a good start but they probably won't have any numbers until Monday.

If you're planning on hitting RibFest this weekend, give yourself a little extra travel time. Organizers say the interstate is the best route with construction slowing traffic on West 12th Street.
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