CELORON - Besides providing great food, the Celoron Rib-Fest is also a community fundraiser.
A large majority of the money raised by the Rib-Fest goes to community organizations, whose members volunteer their time to help host the event.
''This is an event that raises money for the community. This is a fundraiser,'' said Scott Schrecengost, Celoron mayor and Rib-Fest Committee chairman.
From left, Natasha Smith, Alexander Jones and Beau Jones at the Celoron Rib-Fest to celebrate Alexander’s first birthday.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
New this year at the event is a dance floor for those wanting to dance to the live music. The live music at the Desi Arnaz Bandshell will be provided by Skip Lanphere. Live music is being played all four days. Bands are playing music from classic rock to country to the rock 'n' roll music of the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Bands include Blue Magoo who played Wednesday; Smoking 45 playing 6-9 p.m. today; Lake Effect playing 5-7:45 p.m. and Smokehouse playing 8-11 p.m. Friday; Happy Days 1-4 p.m., Untouchables 4:30-7:30 p.m. and M-80s 8-11 p.m. Saturday.
Schrecengost said there will also be a new bounce house provided by Outta Sight Bounce House Rental of Jamestown.
This year's rib vendors include Smokin' Joe's Hog Wild Barbeque, Sgt. Oink's BBQ, My Happy Place and Wells Hog Wild BBQ Co. of Warren, Pa. This year there is also a new rib vendor on the docket with the addition of Pigfoot BBQ. Rib-Fest has been held in Celoron since 2008.
''There is great food and, hopefully, great weather,'' Schrecengost said. ''For fun and friends, come down and have a good time.''
Dean Wells, Wells Hog Wild BBQ Co. owner, said the festival held at Lucille Ball Memorial Park is one of his favorites to attend.
''I love this park, and the people who run this are real class acts,'' he said.
There are vendor booths that also sell chicken fingers, pizza, fries, blooming onions, funnel cakes, candy apples, cotton candy, chocolate-covered strawberries and new this year apple dumplings with ice cream. As for refreshments, soda pop, lemonade and ice water are available. The event also includes a beer and wine tent, where people can enjoy their meal by the lake while enjoying an adult beverage.
Harley Davidson of Jamestown will sponsor bike night Friday, with special parking along the boulevard at Lucille Ball Memorial Park all day. Harley Davidson will be giving away merchandise during bike night, Schrecengost said.
The Celoron Rib-Fest has not forgotten the children. There is a larger-than-ever ''Kids Zone.'' Children of any age can get their face painted, ride the train and experience the bounce houses and slide.
Walt Herrington of Cottage, near Perrysburg, said there was one real simple reason he made the journey with his wife to Celoron on Wednesday.
''It was my turn to cook,'' he said.
Herrington said for about 10 years he has followed area rib-fests, and attends them whenever he can.
''The weather was great, and we might be back with some friends (tonight),'' he said.
Gary Leonard said he attended the festival for the food, while he finished his funnel cake. When asked why he wasn't eating ribs, he said, ''This is dessert. What remains of the ribs is in the trash can.''
The Celoron Rib-Fest will be held from 3-10 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.celoronribfest.com.