Have You Met The North Carolina Ribfest King?
It’s not so much a passion for ribs as much as it is a passion to throw a party, a big party. Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of BBQ, which is what we have at the Port City RibFest.
Meet Allen McDavid and his lovely wife Sarah who in this writer’s opinion throws one of the best festivals I have ever attended! In the photo above are some former Ribfest judges including my husband the Viking in my life and a couple of our local friends Brian and John. The Port City Ribfest allows opportunities for involvement from the Wilmington, NC community…it’s pretty cool and brings an amazing energy into town during the “dog days of summer”.
Q1: Allen how did this all get started? Everyone knows you are the North Carolina Ribfest King!
A1: That’s funny, I’ve gotten “Rib Boss” before, but not king. It all started back in 2004, when I sold my stake in an advertising agency in Greensboro, with the intent of producing music shows. Before I knew it, the Greensboro Jaycees approached me about salvaging an event that had bombed the previous year. It was a RibFest. I had no idea what a RibFest was, but agreed to help. So, I got some sponsors, changed the venue and turned the event around. Unfortunately, the next year the Jaycees thought they no longer needed my help, so I started my own RibFest in Winston-Salem. Theirs lasted two more years, whereas the Twin City RibFest has been going for 12 years now.
Q2: Where did your passion for ribs come from?
A2: It’s not so much a passion for ribs as much as it is a passion to throw a party, a big party. Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of BBQ, which is what we have at the Port City RibFest.
Q3: What are the magical ingredients that make up your Ribfest winners? What are the qualities that make up an amazing rib dinner?
A3: Well, we only judge the ribs themselves, so I can only comment on that. Everyone has their own opinion on it, but I like dry rub ribs that have a spicy flavor with a hint of smoke. However, I’m not a judge.
Q4. Tell us about the Ribfests you have in North Carolina and tell us about some of your rib cooks that show off their amazing cooking at your festivals?
A4: I have produced RibFests in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington and Zebulon, but only the Winston-Salem and Wilmington ones have been the most successful, so I only do those now. We have had several cooks that have been featured on the Food Network including Solomon (The Rib King) Williams from SC and Joey Sutphen and his Texas Thunder team.
Q5. Allen that is so cool the caliber of cooks/chefs you have come out to your Ribfests! Tell us about your Ribfests, how many do you have and where are they located?
A5: Wilmington and Winston-Salem
Q6: Suppose it is my first time at a Ribfest what should I not miss out on?
A6: Of course the food should be first and foremost, but we offer entertainment that is rarely seen these days, and certainly not at a BBQ festival. For example, the Squidling Brothers Side Show which is a throw back to bygone days and our Lucha Libre wrestling.
Q7: I have seen that wrestling it is fascinating and I know first hand the music acts you have are amazing. So now down to business LOL what does it take to be a Ribfest judge?
A7: Anyone can be one. We can train most people on what to look for in about 15 minutes. In addition to our local “celebrity” judges we always get one or tow from our Facebook family.
Q8. Allen do you have any plans to expand the Ribfest festival locations?
A8: Actually, I am diversifying and am producing a Scottish heritage festival in Elizabethtown in October.
Q9. That sounds like so much fun I’ll have to investigate that festival some more. Allen you know the Wilmington, NC Ribfest is near and dear to my heart! My husband the Viking was a Ribfest Judge at one point and well what makes the Port City Ribfest so unique?
A9: Like I said earlier, our entertainment offerings are different that any other BBQ festival.
Q10: This is so true it is a unique festival which is why I think I enjoy them so much! Allen do you have any new ventures on the horizon that we should know about and if so what are they?
A10: In addition to the Scottish heritage festival, I hope to create a pirate festival.
Q11: Tell us where we can find you on social media and where everyone can find you?
A11: Just look up Port City RibFest on Facebook.
Thank you Allen so much for chatting with me today! The Viking and I cannot wait to head out to the next Port City Ribfest coming on the weekend of August 5th through 7th, we had so much fun last year and enjoyed some amazing ribs and listened to some fabulous music too!
In this writer’s humble opinion it takes a lot to throw a successful festival items like traffic flow, weather, parking, acts, beverages, food, hygeine, law compliance and so much else is involved and Allen and his wife and their team are masterful at this production! If you haven’t checked out the Port City Ribfest well you need to put it on your calendar for next month…trust me!
If you were thinking of going to the Port City Ribfest next Month here is some additional information for you!
Click here for ticket Information you will want to get them!
I wish you all a beautiful week…until next time!