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BBQ Tour Stop #13: Columbus, OH

August 5, 2010

This was the 31st year for the Columbus Jazz and Ribfest held in Columbus, Ohio and the 3rd year that the KCBS Great American BBQ Tour has attended. I still remember our first year and getting a call two days before load-in telling us that the bridge that connected both areas of the event was condemned by the city… It still came off as a great event and was moved last year down the river a bit to a new and fantastic location.

One nice thing about coming back to an event for the 3rd time is knowing the layout and organizers so things run more smoothly. Bill was the man this weekend and we kept him hopping with things being shipped to the event, goodies for the judges goody bags and doing a morning TV show with Johnny and Rodney from FOX 28/ABC 6.  I prepped a rack of ribs for the morning show and told the guys to come back at noon to taste the final results. They showed up promptly and I was glad I kept my fingers out of the way because all they left me was a pile of rib bones on the cutting board.

Because this event is held on the streets in the downtown area of Columbus, they have to be closed for the event but since it is such a well traveled area, the city keeps the streets open until the last minute. Our spot was right along that route so on Friday morning when I made it to the event for the interview, the trailer was bordered by dozens of orange cones with traffic whizzing less than a foot from our stage!

The Jazz and Ribfest features BBQ vendors from around the country along with local BBQ restaurants competing for awards, and of course, cooking for the close to 400,000 attendees from the Columbus Area. The contests are comprised of a Critic’s Award of BBQ Judges, the Big Whig judging of local celebrities and event sponsors, and the People’s Choice award where the people choose the winner.

This year, MOJO’s won the Critic’s Award, Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ won the Big Whig trophy and Big Boned BBQ won the People’s Choice award. It was great to visit with the Ribbers.  We were able to spend some time with Paul of Aussom Aussie’s, Joey of Joey’s Texas Thunder, Jon with Willinghams, Butch of Butch’s Smack Your Lips and our newfound friend from last year who makes the BEST creampuff’s in the Columbus Area – Hal from Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant!

-Mike (and Chris) Peters

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