Mapel: Rib Ruckus promises to be ‘a big block party’

Event to bring food, fun to downtown Fort Dodge

-Submitted map
To make room for Rib Ruckus, Central Avenue from the northeast corner of City Square to the northwest corner, will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Also closed to traffic will be North Fifth Street to First Avenue North.

Rib Ruckus is a time for friends and family to come together and enjoy live music, games, and, of course, some delicious-tasting ribs, according to Tim Mapel, an organizer for the event.

“What you are getting and what we have generated with this event is a fun way to get a bunch of guys, gals, and families together to enjoy one of America’s best pastimes, which is barbecue, and infuse that with other aspects like live music and kids activities,” Mapel said. “It’s kind of a big block party feel, but there’s still a competitive edge. It’s not a hardcore drawn-out competition. We keep it fun.”

The event, sponsored by the Rural Iowa Barbeque Society, is Saturday in downtown Fort Dodge on the north side of City Square. Cost is $15 per person. Children 12 and under get in free.

Gates open at 11 a.m.

Live entertainment, kids activities, barbecue sampling all day, and a barbecue rib dinner at 5:30 p.m., is included with the price of admission.

A beer garden will also be set up.

Ribs and steak will be cooking and the music will be rocking near the intersection of Central Avenue and North Fifth Street.

Central Avenue from the northeast corner of City Square to the northwest corner, will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Also closed to traffic will be North Fifth Street to First Avenue North.

Live music will feature the Tank Anthony Band from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Brutal Republic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saucy Jack from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mapel said the Tank Anthony Band is a two-man group featuring DJ Fisher and Tank Anthony.

“They love to interact with the people,” Mapel said. “They do a wide range of music, from country to rock to blues. They cover just about anything. They even throw in a little hip hop/country mashup. They are a great bunch of guys.”

In terms of Brutal Republic, Mapel said Jeremy Ober, lead vocals and guitar for the group, has grown in popularity throughout the area.

“It’s Jeremy Ober,” Mapel said. “What more is there to say? He’s become one of the icons in the Fort Dodge area. He’s very, very talented.”

Mapel said the acoustic version of Brutal Republic will be featured for Rib Ruckus.

“It will include Ober along with drummer Kaleb Ferry, and the bass player Alex Travino,” Mapel said. “That’s typically who it consists of, but they have a few different variations. These are a great group of guys.”

Saucy Jack, a classic rock cover band, will headline the event.

“They have been around since 1998,” Mapel said. “They are an area legend. Saucy Jack, for lack of a better term, from what I know and been told by different people, they have paved the way for a lot of guys. Saucy has a huge following. Everybody loves them.”

Saucy Jack consists of Stacy Peterson, bass guitar and vocals; Jim Poffenberger, lead guitar and vocals; and Andy Shelly on drums.

In memory of Michael Moore

The event itself is to honor Michael Moore, a friend from Fort Dodge who has passed away, Mapel said.

“The whole thing started — we wanted to do something in his name,” Mapel said. “It started out and continues to be a fundraiser for a scholarship in his name. He was a barbecuing friend.”

Mapel said Moore was a person who made a lasting impression.

“He was probably one of the craziest people you ever met,” Mapel said. “Always cracking jokes, having a good time. He never met a stranger in his life. He was a food buff. He loved cooking and he was damn good at it.”

Mapel said the scholarship will go to an Iowa Central Community College culinary arts student.

In addition to the scholarship, the Rural Iowa Barbeque Society will be donating funds to the Lotus Community Project, a homeless shelter for women and children.

The competition itself will be different than it has been in the past.

“The past two years it has been a multi-meat category that spanned over two days,” Mapel said. “This day we condensed it down to a ribfest that will just span one day.”

Mapel said he hopes as many as 30 teams will compete.

Barbecuing has been a passion of Mapel’s for almost 10 years.

“I like every aspect of it,” he said “I have been doing competition barbecue for nine-and-a-half years now. It’s something my dad and I got into. There’s a lot of levels to it. Your backyard level, amateur level, professional level. What we are trying to do would be considered more of your backyard barbecue level, which is what I like.”

Blind judging will be used in the competition, Mapel said.

Judges names will not be released to the teams until turn-in times.

Each team will be presented a team number at check-in to the event.

That will be the identifying number for the team throughout the event.

The teams are scored on a scale of 2-9 in three different categories: appearance, taste, and tenderness.

For steak, teams will turn in one whole un-cut steak to a panel of six judges.

The steak will be judged first on appearance. It will then be sliced by the table captain and then passed around for each judge to take a sample and judge taste and tenderness.

For ribs, each team will turn in a minimum of six individual ribs. Ribs must be cut apart to ensure each judge from a panel of six receives one whole rib.

Once each judge has six ribs from six different teams in front of them they will be released to judge for taste and tenderness.

Regardless of the style of competition, Mapel guaranteed one thing.

“This food will amaze people,” he said. “I can promise that.”

Mapel said the Rural Iowa Barbeque Society is still accepting registrations for teams and is looking for volunteers.

For more information on how to register or volunteer, contact Tim Mapel at (515) 302-9918.

If you go

Who: Rural Iowa Barbeque Society Inc.,

a nonprofit organization

What: Fort Dodge Rib Ruckus, a rib and

steak competition

Where: North side of City Square

When: Saturday, Aug. 24. Gates open at 11 a.m.

Cost: $15 per person, 12 and under free


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