Ribfest rocks Vinoy

Ribfest rocks Vinoy

Rib vendors came from as far away as Australia with their tantalizing wares.

Steve Aebersold, Entertainment Editor

For three days, Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg was home to some of the world’s best ribs, music, and weather as the Northeast Exchange Club hosted it annual festival known as Ribfest.  The park was filled with tents selling ribs from many different vendors, all with different, unique barbecue recipes.  The world-renown musicians included Santana and Gregg Rollie, Heart, Johnny Lang, Colt Ford, Montgomery Gentry, and blues legend Buddy Guy.  Many East Lake students made their way down to the festival at some point during the weekend.


Memphis, Charleston, and Cleveland were just a few of the American cities from which vendors came, and some “ribbers” came from as far across the world as Australia to sell their product.  Fat Fred’s Famous BBQ, which boasts national award winning barbecue sauce, represented the city of St. Pete for the weekend.  “My favorite ribs came from Memphis,” said senior Sean Carlisle.  “They fell right off the bone and had the perfect sauce.”


Come Back Alice, Johnny Lang, and Buddy Guy were the headliners on Friday.  Guy closed the show with an intense performance that began at 8:30 p.m.  “Buddy was incredible.  He came off the stage and into the crowd while he was tearing into a blues solo.  Johnny Lang jammed with him at the end and they tore it up,” said senior Chris Donisi.


Saturday had performances by Sheri, Connor Christian and Southern Gothic, Santana with original singer Gregg Rolie, and classic rockers Heart.  They ended the night with hits such as “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You.”


On Sunday, which was Veterans Day, military veterans received a discount on their ticket prices.  The festival’s final day saw performances by Matt Stillwell, Colt Ford, and Montgomery Gentry.  “Colt Ford is one of my favorite singers.  I got to see him Sunday and it was awesome!” said senior Sebastian Hilpl.


The profits from Ribfest were donated to several youth charities, which is reflected by their slogan, “Rockin’ Ribs, Helpin’ Kids.”  The weekend is something that locals look forward to every fall, and this year it did not disappoint.