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Carolina Mountain Ribfest Returns as Carolina West Ribfest

This July 11-13th the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center will once again host a RibFest . However, this year the festival sports a new name, new promoter and a new direction. Long a mainstay on the local summer festival scene, the Carolina Mountain RibFest is now the Carolina West RibFest and is being produced by AKA Entertainment & Media an event production company  based in Greensboro, NC. Local event producer John Patterson, the man who began the RibFest in 2007 has handed over the reins due to health concerns.

According to Allen McDavid, the president of AKA and producer of NC’s Premier Barbecue and Music Festivals series www.premierbbq.com , the new name is an integral part of transitioning the festival so that it will appeal to a broader audience. Says McDavid, “barbecue festivals generally follow the tired old formula of barbecue, cover bands and a children’s carnival.” The Carolina West RibFest will feature an expanded group of national barbecue teams and an eclectic mix of entertainment including 3 days of local, regional and national music acts on the main stage, Lucha Libre wrestling, a sideshow and saloon featuring can-can girls. McDavid adds, “There are few places where seven dollars can buy this amount of entertainment.” McDavid has tagged the RibFest with the slogan, “A different type of BBQ festival.”

The 2014 Carolina West RibFest will have six barbecue teams vying for awards but mainly will focus on satisfying the appetites of thousands of BBQ fans. This year’s line-up includes local purveyor Big Bad Wolf BBQ from Etowah, Big Boned BBQ (Charleston, SC), Camp 31 (Castleberry, Alabama), Porky Chicks (Farmington, Arkansas), Carolina Rib King (Moore, SC) and Florida Skin Bones (Arcadia, Florida). The judges panel will consist of folks from the event’s Facebook family, local chefs and foodies as well as local dignitaries including David Gantt, Chairman of the Buncombe County Commission.

Joining local musical acts like Underhill Rose and Circus Mutt will be national acts Moon Taxi and Jason McKinney. UIW Wrestling will showcase a diverse group of luchidores and the RibFest’s sideshow will be hosted by The Squidling Brothers from Philadelphia, PA. Rounding out the festival will be a marketplace, kids’ zone and the Shady Lady Saloon. New participants Leinenkugel beer and Cupcake Vineyards will provide product samples.

The Carolina West RibFest kicks off at 11 AM on July 11 and continue through July 13 at 8 PM. Admission for adults is $7 and children get in free. The event website has complete details – www.carolinawestribfest.com. Updates will come via Facebook – www.facebook.com/carolinawestribfest.

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