Red Cross, Columbia Gas partner for rib eventWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | email@example.com
Get your bibs and wet naps ready, Toledo. They’ll be needed Aug. 1 to 3 for the Columbia Gas of Ohio Smoke on the Water — Ribs for the Red Cross in Promenade Park Downtown.
The event, which was known the past two years as Ribs on the River, will benefit the American Red Cross Greater Toledo Area Chapter. Representatives from Columbia Gas and the American Red Cross announced plans for the three-day festival March 27 at Toledo’s Famous Dave’s restaurant, which has committed as one of the event’s rib vendors.
“Our goal is to make sure when people come to that event Downtown it’s what they’re used to,” said Columbia Gas spokesman Chris Kozak.
Kozak and Jodie Tienvieri, communications manager for the local American Red Cross chapter, said Smoke on the Water has verbal commitments from four other rib vendors, some of which are local. Last year’s Ribs on the River had 13 rib and six other food vendors, Kozak said.
Each of Smoke on the Water’s three days will follow a theme that will likely dictate entertainment that evening, Kozak said. Country day is Aug. 1; rock day is Aug. 2; and family day is Aug. 3.
The event’s planning committee is in the process of lining up national entertainment for the festival, Kozak said, noting he expects to announce the event’s lineup in April.
“We want to make sure that this is an event where people come and enjoy ribs and have entertainment,” he said.
Local vendors indicated a desire to participate in an event that had a rib focus, Tienvieri said.
Smoke on the Water originated after Ribs on the River’s parent organization, CitiFest Inc., dissolved in January due to debt totaling more than $250,000.
Columbia Gas of Ohio served as the title sponsor for both of Ribs on the River’s installments.
Approximately 30,000 people attended the three-day event last year, Kozak said.
Smoke on the Water, which is also sponsored by KeyBank, will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2 and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 3. Admission will be $3 per day, though there will be no charge to enter the park before 5 p.m. Aug. 1. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.
Toledo Free Press plans a series of articles that follows the behind-the-scenes development and planning of the Smoke on the Water event.