Chris Chin from the Forest Park Police Department and owner of Beach Avenue BBQ in Brookfield competed in 2019’s Ribfest. (File photo)

Think you’ve got the best barbecue around? Put your grill skills to the test by registering for the 2021 Forest Park Ribfest, which will be held on Sept. 11. Applications are available on the village website at

Last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19, but this year grills and smokers will be out again in full force. Slots for contestants are limited, and applications will be accepted on a first come, first-served basis. 

The entry fee is $185 and must be submitted with the application. A 10 x 10 tent is provided for all contestants.

Some basic rules:

  • Contestants can start setting up at 6 a.m. the day of the event.
  • Contestants must use pork ribs only (baby back or spareribs).
  • All cooking must be done on the premises.

Judging will be done blindly. In other words, judges won’t know who made the ribs they’re sampling and rating. Ribs will be judged using the following criteria: taste, tenderness, and visual presentation.

Contestants can sell 2-rib samples to the public for $4 and keep the proceeds, but a full slab of 12 ribs is required for judging.

First prize is $1,000, second is $700 and third is $300.