2004 Madison Ribberfest

Music City Pig Pals wins state rib title

Festival attracts largest crowd in third year

By Don Ward

MADISON, Ind. (Aug. 21, 2004) –  More than 50 judges spent the weekend here trying to get their fingers and lips around the best tasting barbecue in town. And when the sauce finally dried and the last bones were cleaned, Music City Pig Pals stood as the reigning king of the third annual Madison Ribberfest.

Lee McWright

Photo by Don Ward

Lee and Bobbie McWright of Nashville,
Tenn., are presented the Indiana State Championship award by Madison
Mayor Al Huntington (right).

Owers Lee and Bobbie McWright of Pleasant View, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, earned the Indiana State Championship title after having placed second here in 2002, the event's inaugural year. Ribberfest fans are familiar with the McWrights' barbecue because each year the couple has had the largest food vending display on the midway.
"We're both chefs by trade, and barbecue is strictly a hobby for us," said Lee McWright. "So it's nice to win at something you enjoy doing. I never was any good at golf. I can't hit the ball straight."
McWright has scored a hole-in-one in barbecue, however, winning the Pork and Pork Ribs categories and earning top-10s in two additional categories. The cumulative point totals in each of the seven judged categories decide the overall winner and the Reserve Grand Champion, which this year went to J-Mack Cookers, a family team from Bardwell, Ky., near Paducah. J-Mack Cookers earned second place by placing second in Brisket and winning the Dessert category.
Pig Pak, a popular local team from Madison, Ind., repeated as "Best of Jefferson County." The team consists of John Branigan, Merrill Nay, David Baratti and Mike DeShong. The team placed fifth overall.

J-Mack Cookers

Photo by Don Ward

J-Mack Cookers of Bardwell, Ky. earned
Reserve Grand Champions (second place).
The team is led by Aaron and Christy Storey
(far left), Joe Barbee, Melinda Ford, Mike
Ford and Sharon Cates.

In the amateur cooking contest, the Backyard Barbeque Blast, the ACME BBQ team, sponsored by Craig Toyota in Madison, emerged as the overall winner. The team is comprised of Joe Craig, Don Ward, Paul Rosenberg, Pat Stack, Dave Butler and Leon Michl.
The Aug. 20-21 festival along the Madison riverfront drew the largest crowd to date, although festival officials were still tallying the final ticket sales and calculating their net profit.
"This is obviously the best year we've had, even despite the rain on Friday," said Jeff Garrett, who co-founded the event in 2002 and now serves as executive director of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. The event itself is organized and operated by a large volunteer committee of the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Center, with a paid director in Kathy Ayers.
Steady rain that fell for much of Friday cancelled the hot air balloon glow that evening and delayed the blues band schedule by two hours. But blues fans who stuck it out were rewarded with a lively performance by Friday night headliner Tab Benoit of New Orleans. The skies cleared on Saturday, but not in time to get the early morning RE/MAX Group 1 Hot Air Balloon Race off the ground. The morning race was cancelled after a one-hour delay. But the blue skies that followed provided a beautiful backdrop to the evening's hare-and-hound balloon race, led by the hare RE/MAX balloon. That evening, stage rocked with blues music by nationally renowned acts Kid Ramos, Mark Hummel, both of California, and Grammy-nominated Marcia Ball of Austin, Texas.

Pig Pak

Photo by Don Ward

The Madison-based Pig Pak team
won "Best of Jefferson County" for
the second year. They are (from
left) John Branigan, David Baratti,
Mike DeShong and Merrill Nay.
They placed fifth overall.

In between the music, barbecue judging and hot air balloon race were two new events – the Fiesta Grill Challenge on Friday afternoon, and the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce's "Good to the Bone" rib-eating contest on Saturday afternoon.
Lee McWright, who represents the Fiesta Gas Grill Co., emceed a raucous afternoon of fun under a tent by the riverfront gazebo, where six professional cooking teams competed for a $1,000 cash prize. The competing teams were randomly drawn from the pro division field earlier. Each team was given a brand new Fiesta Grill on which they had one hour to prepare an entree and dessert to be judged by a panel of local "celebrities."
When it was over, Todd and Connie Trobaugh of Kokomo, Ind., were crowned the winner. All six teams were allowed to keep their grills.

Madison Ribberfest Guide

Cover of RoundAbout's Madison
Ribberfest Guide

On Saturday afternoon, the "Good to the Bone" rib-eating contest featured 10 randomly drawn people from the crowd and several people from the local media. The race took eventual winner Tom Freel of North Webster, Ind., only 2 minutes, 56 seconds to finish off a whole slab of ribs. For his voracious appetite and fast chewing skills, he collected $150 in Chamber Gift Certificates. Second place and $100 in certificates went to John Vanmeter of Indianapolis; third place and $50 in certificates was awarded to Bob White of Madison.
This year's festival attracted a record 47 pro cooking teams, up from about 38 last year. The winner automatically qualifies for the Kansas City Barbecue Society's national contest in October in Kansas City, Mo., since it is the state's only such event. KCBS is the sanctioning body for the event and provides certified judges to determine the winner.

Madison Ribberfest 2004
Results of Events

Madison, Ind.

Pro Division Winners
Results Aug. 21, 2004
Overall Rankings:

1. Grand Champion: Music City Pig Pals, Nashville, Tenn.
2. Reserve Grand Champion: J-Mack Cookers, Bardwell, Ky.
3. Smokin Triggers, Alvarado, Texas
4. Rib Runners, Indianapolis
5. Pig Pak, Madison, Ind.
6. Hoosier Hogs, Valparaiso, Ind.
7. Piggin N. Grinnin, Decatur, Ala.
8. Sand Mountain Sizzlers, Horton, Ala.
9. Paradise Ridge, Nashville, Tenn.
10. Insane Charcoal Posse, Jasper, Ind.
11. Wildcat BBQ, Madison, Ind.
12. Smokin' Irish, Cincinnati
13. Smokin' Ribz BBQ, Indianapolis
14. Big R's Blazin' Butts, Crestwood, Ky.
15. Hoghead's BBQ, Pittsboro, Ind.
16. Moonswiners, Taylorsville, Ky.
17. Pepperitaville, Kokomo, Ind.
18. The Smoken Elvises, Cincinnati
19. Fall City Smokers, Louisville, Ky.
20. Smoke Amore, Cincinnati
21. Squealer's Barbeque, Mooresville, Ind.
22. Pit Sniffers, Noblesville, Ind.
23. Smoked Signals, Madison, Ind.
24. Huckleberry's Smoke Therapy, Sheridan Lake, Ohio
25. Snake Pit Bar-B-Que, N/A
26. Lincoln Pork, Westfield, Ind.
27. Two Little Pigs, Dyersburg, Tenn.
28. Dr. Chuckie's Modaciously Delicious BBQ, Ada, Mich.
29. Bluegrass Barbeque, Greensburg, Ky.
30. Jimmy's Hog Pen, Centerville, Ohio
31. Seeing Double Bar BQ, N/A
32. Northern Smoke, Burton, Mich.
33. Sweetness of Hog, Memphis, Tenn.
34. Bar-B-Que Cuisine, Indianapolis
35. Gotta Gourmet, Argos, Ind.
36. Zack's/Century 21, Franklin, Tenn.
37. DJ Barbeque, Madison, Ind.
38. Hat Creek Cattle Co., Evansville, Ind.
39. Sweet Willy's Swine, Indianapolis
40. Hoboken Eddie's, Hasbrook Heights, N.J.
41. Squealing Good BBQ, Cedar Lake, Ind.
42. Fatt Man and the BBQ Guru, N/A
43. Unkydoo BBQ, N/A
44. Buck Snort BBQ, N/A
45. Frick & Frack, N/A
46. Cabana Joe's, Madison, Ind.
47. Pig 'N Boots, N/A

Troy Austin

1. Pit Sniffers
2. Paradise Ridge
3. Hoosier Hogs
4. Pig Pak
5. Lincoln Pork
6. Rib Runners
7. Hoghead's BBQ
8. Wildcat BBQ
9. J-Mack Cookers
10. Music City Pig Pals

Pork Ribs
1. Music City Pig Pals
2. Pig Pak
3. Smokin' Triggers
4. Sand Mountain Sizzlers
5. Piggin 'N Grinnin'
6. Insane Charcoal Posse
7. Hoosier Hogs
8. Sweetness of Hog
9. Big R's Blazin' Butts
10. Smoke Amore

1. Music City Pig Pals
2. Two Little Pigs
3. Sand Mountain Sizzlers
4. The Smoken Elvises
5. Smokin' Irish
6. Smokin' Ribz BBQ
7. Paradise Ridge
8. Pig Pak
9. Snake Pit Bar-B-Que
10. J-Mack Cookers

1. Rib Runners
2. J-Mack Cookers
3. Piggin' 'N Grinnin'
4. Smokin' Irish
5. Smokin' Triggers
6. Wildcat BBQ
7. Hoosier Hogs
8. Music City Pig Pals
9. Hoghead's BBQ
10. Insance Charcoal Posse

Anything But
1. Smoked Signals
2. Squalers Barbeque
3. Smoke Amore
4. Sand Mountain Sizzlers
5. Smokin' Irish
6. The Smoken Elvises
7. Lincoln Park
8. Snake Pit Bar-B-Que
9. Smokin' Ribz BBQ
10. Bluegrass Barbeque

1. Smokin' Ribz BBQ
2. Piggin' 'N Grinnin'
3. Two Little Pigs
4. Snake Pit Bar-B-Que
5. Bluegrass Barbeque
6. J-Mack Cookers
7. Seeing Double Bar BQ
8. Pepperitaville
9. Smokin' Triggers
10. Sand Mountain Sizzlers

1. J-Mack Cookers
2. Wildcat BBQ
3. Rib Runners
4. Gotta Gourmet
5. Pepperitaville
6. Smokin' Triggers
7. Fatt Man and the BBQ Guru
8. Pig Pak
9. Hat Creek Cattle Co.
10. Smoked Signals

Backyard Barbeque Blast
Amateur Division

Best Team: Craig Auto's "ACME BBQ"
Chicken: 1. Paul Everman, Hickory Flats BBQ; 2. Greg Shell, S'all Good BBQ; 3. Dennis Hackney, Hackneyland's BBQ.
Ribs: 1. Gary Dietz, Frick 'n Frack's Babybacks; 2. Paul Everman, Hickory Flats BBQ; 3. Joe Craig, ACME BBQ.
Pork: 1. Brian Whitmire, Bucksnout BBQ; 2. Paul Everman, Hickory Flats BBQ; 3. Tom Cunso, Smoke Break BBQ.
Beef: 1. Brian Whitmire, Bucksnout BBQ; 2. Greg Shell, S'all Good BBQ; 3. Tom Cunso, Smoke Break BBQ.
Game: 1. Helen Bertcsh, Pig 'n Boots BBQ; 2. Gilbert Black, Kiyote BBQ; 3. Roger Mogg, Rodg BBQ.
Best Sauce: 1. Kevin Phelps, Hairy Hawg BBQ; 2. Honorable Mention: John Richert.
Best Rub: 1. Greg Shell, S'all Good BBQ.

Fiesta Grill Challenge winner:
Pepparitaville, Todd and Connie Trobaugh, Kokomo, Ind.

Good to the Bone rib-eating competition
Sponsored by the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce
1. Tom Freel, North Webster, Ind.; 2. Jason Vanmeter, Indianapolis; 3. Bob Way, Madison.

Madison RIbberfest RE/MAX Group 1 Balloon Race
Sat., Aug. 21, 2004 Results
1. D. Scott McClinton, Prospect, Ky. "Flying Football."
2. John Stolenberg, Indianapolis, "Excuse Me"
3. Dick Mitchell, Eaton, Ohio, "DeColores"
4. Frank McCrory, Floyds Knobs, Ind., "John Jones GM City"
5. Chris Spalding, Louisville, Ky., "The Cowboy"

Back to 2004 Ribberfest Articles.



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