In between their usual summer tasks of organizing trips and activities for senior citizens and school age children, staff members at the Howard Mohr Community Center are hard at work getting the wheels in motion for Forest Parks’ first ever “Amateur Rib-Off.”
The event, planned for September 16, will allow rib chefs from all over to compete for top honors from both judges and the public. The judges have not yet been named, according to Community Center director Bev Thompson, but plans call for out-of-towners to be recruited to ensure that everyone has a fair shot.
“This was actually the brain child of our maintenance man, Rich Barger,” said Thompson. “He’s not a rib chef himself, he just had a good idea.”
Prizes will be $200 for third place, $300 for second and $500 for first. In addition, the “crowd favorite” will receive a $100 prize. Each contestant will also get a Forest Park Rib-Off apron and other goodies, according to Thompson.
Contestants will be permitted to sell a two-rib sample to members of the public for $2. They’ll need to give the judges a half slab. Only pork ribs are allowed.
Judges, according to a flyer, will award up to 10 points for taste and up to five for both originality and visual presentation.
The event, which will take place at the Altenheim Grove, 7820 Madison Street, from 12 to 6 p.m. will also feature attractions including a live band and deejay, face painting and games for kids.
“We’re welcoming anyone from anywhere. We’re hoping to make it spectacular,” said Thompson.
Those interested in entering the competition or serving as judges or volunteers can contact the Howard Mohr Community Center at 771 7737.