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Published June 09, 2011, 12:00 AM

Overcast day can't keep RibFest fans away

FARGO - For people attending this year’s RibFest, it’s all about the barbecue. For the vendors, it’s all about the people.

By: Josie Clarey, INFORUM

Fargo - For people attending this year’s RibFest, it’s all about the barbecue. For the vendors, it’s all about the people.

Dennis Carrino, owner of Porky & Beans National Barbeque Cooking Team, said he is amazed every year at the spirit of Fargo.

“We go to a lot of great cities, don’t get me wrong, but here, people are genuine,” Carrino said. “This is America.”

Porky & Beans has won the People’s Choice Award for the past three years. Florida native Carrino, who has been in the barbecue business for 31 years, said Fargo’s fest allows for a wide variety of competition.

“Fargo is very lucky; they have the cream of the crop, the best cookers,” he said. “It makes me a little more excited when it comes to judging day.”

While the weather plays an important factor in turnout, Fargodome General Manager Rob Sobolik said people are used to it.

“They put on a jacket or a sweatshirt or an extra layer and come on out,” Sobolik said.

Joe Alexander, owner of Rasta Joe’s of Indiana, said the weather has been beautiful compared to previous years.

“I’ve been here when there’s been 6 inches of water in the booth,” he said. “This is a heat wave.”

Paul MacKay, owner of Aussom Aussie Australian Barbeque, said weather is a factor in attendance, but “people come out and support us even in rough weather, so we’re here to do a good job.”

Aussom Aussie is just one rib stand that offers something a little different.

“We have a fruit-based concept, so we’re a little bit different,” MacKay said. “We can’t come all the way from Australia and be the same as everybody else.”

Bob and Kim Scheidecker of Fargo have attended the annual event for as long as they can remember.

For the past few years, they’ve been working concessions to help raise money for Fargo North’s Spartacas Dance Team.

“For me, it’s tasting all the different varieties of ribs,” Bob said. “We kind of play around with our own rib recipes, so it’s kind of nice to try somebody else’s and compare.”

If you go

  • What: RibFest

  • When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

  • Where: Fargodome east parking lot, 1800 N. University Drive

  • Info: Gate admission, $5 per person; parking, $3

  • Tonight: Country singer Rodney Atkins performs.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Josie Clarey at (701) 241-5529