Rib Fest returns next month

The enormously successful debut of the Forest Park Rib Fest last year has organizers shooting for an even bigger event this year with more contestants, larger cash prizes and bigger crowds.

The second annual Rib Fest will be held Sept. 15 at the Picnic Grove, 7824 Madison St. from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Last year’s event drew some 2,000 people, according Community Center Director Beverly Thompson. Organizers are hoping to double that figure this year.

In addition to sampling various barbecue ribs, contest-goers will be treated to musical performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. by The Moods and Spoken Four. An aerial circus troupe, face painting, sand art and psychic entertainer will also be on hand. Other food vendors will also be at the Rib Fest.

The field is open to 25 contestants who will have their ribs judged by Charlie Robinson of Robinson’s Ribs, Robin Jenkins, a Chicago Tribune food reporter and Mike Sturino, the village administrator of Forest Park. Contestants can sign up at the Community Center, 7640 Jackson Boulevard, or online at www.forestpark.net.

Internet safety

A free information session hosted by the Forest Park Middle School is open to parents and students interested in Internet safety. Presentations from the Illinois state’s attorney’s office will focus on cyber bullying, blogging, web predators and social networking sites.

The event will be held tonight, Aug. 29 at the middle school beginning at 6:30 p.m.