Huge crowds turned out for the second annual barbecue ribs contest held Sept. 15 at the Altenheim picnic grove where a new winner emerged from this year’s field of 24. Robert Walsh of River Forest beat out local firefighter Don Cheval by the scantest of margins to earn the title as the judges’ favorite. According to Community Center Director Beverly Thompson, Walsh won the contest by one point. Finishing in third place in the official judging was Shelanda Barren-Johnson.

Ribs cooked up by Dave Rita and Rich Krieger were the crowd-favorite, Thompson said, and Walter Cole took top honors for sporting the most creatively decorated booth in a new category this year.

This year’s contest saw an expanded field of competitors, larger crowds and the return of the top three finishers from the inaugural year. Cheval also took second place in the 2006 Rib Off.