Event benefits Red Cross, spotlights local rib vendorsWritten by Mary Petrides | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Up to 20,000 people are expected at Smoke on the Water — Ribs for the Red Cross presented by Columbia Gas of Ohio July 30 to Aug. 1 in Promenade Park.
General admission is $5, or $4 if tickets are purchased in advance at Northwest Ohio Meijer stores. Kids 12 and younger are free. Admission July 30 is free until 4:30 p.m.; members of the military are free Aug. 1.
The fundraiser includes live music, a play area for kids — and, of course, ribs and fresh side dishes.
“The ribs are the stars,” said Jodie Tienvieri, communications manager for the American Red Cross Greater Toledo Area Chapter.
Ten rib vendors will be at the festival this year — reduced from last year’s 12. The 10-vendor limit increases competition and allows each vendor to profit more, Tienvieri said.
Famous Dave’s Pulled Pork Eating Contest will take place July 31, and Judges’ and People’s Choice Awards for Best Ribs will be presented Aug. 1
Music includes Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) Steel Drum Band, Chris Shutters Band, Polka Floyd, Mini-Kiss, Jason LaPorte, Faux Paus, More Than Me, Kentucky Chrome, Gin Blossoms, TSA Urban Jazz Collective, 9 Lives, Melanie May and Kentucky Headhunters.
“I think we’ve got some great headliners this year, but we’ve also got some great local bands,” Tienvieri said.
Festival food will include ribs, roasted nuts, grilled corn, elephant ears, blooming onions, fries, smoothies, steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs — “it’s a little bit of everything,” Tienvieri said.
“For those more picky kids who don’t like ribs or barbecue, there’ll be something for them,” she said.
Aug. 1 is Family Day and Military Appreciation Day. Sunday’s bands will be closer to country music than hard rock music — “I’d say they’re a little bit tamer,” Tienvieri said — and there will be a kids play area from 1 to 4 p.m. that day as well.
Last year, more than 10,000 people paid admission, Tienvieri said. That’s not a total count of attendees, though — kids 12 and younger get in free, and members of the military get in free Aug. 1.
“We know it was over 10,000; we just don’t know how much over 10,000 it was,” Tienvieri said.
Interviews with Gin Blossoms and Kentucky Headhunters, along with more information on the weekend’s events, will appear in the July 28 Toledo Free Press Star.
The event will feature recycling receptacles for the second year in a row.
“We need to keep as much out of the landfills as we can. It’s important to help Mother Earth,” said Philomena Caratelli, one of two Red Cross volunteers who collect recycling throughout the event.
“It’s a great way to involve more volunteers with the event and a great way to help our environment,” Tienvieri said. The receptacles will be used to collect plastic bottles throughout the event. Materials the vendors use, such as cardboard, will also be recycled, she said.