CLEVELAND -- The Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival presented by Time Warner Cable, The Plain Dealer, WKYC-TV3 and MinuteMenJobs.com is celebrating 20 years of smokin' ribs, fond memories and hot rock bands.
Nearly two decades worth of saucy Memorial Day Weekend traditions culminate May 27-30, 2011 at the newly named Jacobs Pavillion and Nautica Entertainment Complex on the West Bank of the Flats.
Here are some finger-lickin' facts to get your stomach growling for a new barbecue season in downtown Cleveland:
•An estimated 4.5 million bones have been served to rib lovers at the Rib Cook Off during the past 19 years!
•"Reverend Run" from the hip-hop trio Run DMC officiated a wedding at the Rib Cook Off in 2003.
•Grilling is no longer considered a male dominated activity. While 51 percent of males cha-cha with the charcoal, 49 percent of women flamenco with the flames.
•10 Master grillers hailing from across the U.S. will slave behind the grill Memorial Day Weekend to ensure Northeast Ohioans really get sauced.
•263,000 moist towelettes will wipe up BBQ sauce covering fingers and faces.
•The most common ingredient added to barbecue sauce is garlic, followed by brown sugar.
•From rock and country to pop, an impressive list of Grammy-Award winning musicians have delivered memorable performances during the Rib Cook Off including Kenny Loggins in 1992, Bo Diddley in 1993, Willie Nelson in 1994, Evanescence in 2003, Blues Traveler in 2006 and Pat Benatar in 2007.
•25,000 rolls will compliment rib dinners and be used to sop up the leftover BBQ sauce covering paper plates.
•The most popular flavors of barbecue sauce are hickory, followed by mesquite, honey, and then tomato-based.
•The original barbecue sauce, dating back hundreds of years, consisted of vinegar and pepper.
•In the past decade, four different grilling teams swept the competition and claimed the prize for both "Greatest Ribs in America" and "Greatest Sauce in America" in the same year.
•Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, hosted the first barbecue at the White House that featured Texas-style barbecued ribs.
•Multiple downtown hot spots, all with waterfront views, have played host to the Rib Cook Off, including North Coast Harbor, Burke Lakefront Airport and Time Warner Cable Amphitheater.
•America Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Elliot Yamin showed off their vocal talents at the Rib Cook Off in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
•The Rib Cook Off is an annual outdoor affair because 3,600 gallons of baked beans will be consumed throughout the weekend!
•To celebrate all things BBQ, the National Barbecue Association officially designated May as National Barbecue Month.
•More than 100,000 rib lovers are expected to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of the Rib Cook Off.
•The newly named Jacobs Pavilion and adjacent Nautica Entertainment Complex on the West Bank of the Flats will host the Rib Cook Off for the first time in 2011.
•The word "barbecue" is no match for spell check! The famous fare can be written as "Barbeque," "Barbicue," "Barbique," "Bar-B-Cue," "Bar-B-Que," "Bar-B-Q," "BBQ," "Cue," and "Q."
•During the Marc's Amateur Grilling Competition, six lucky contestants will receive three racks of ribs and two and a half hours to create a BBQ masterpiece worth bragging about.
•75,000 pounds of ribs, or 47,310 slabs, will get basted with the best top-secret BBQ sauce recipes from across the country.
•A Rib Cook Off performance in 1999 by Fastball and The Goo Goo Dolls drew crowds that exceeded all expectations, forcing the producers to cease ticket sales after 9:00 p.m., a Cook Off first!
•Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) shows that 77 percent of all U.S. households own a grill or smoker.
•Don King, aka the "King of the Ring," as well as the "King of the Court" LeBron James, have both been spotted at the king of Rib Cook Offs.
•2,000 gallons of barbecue sauce will be slurped up by diehard BBQ fanatics.
•Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry and Ringo Star as one of The Beatles have all performed at the Rib Cook Off.
•445,300 bones will be discarded - stretching 42 miles if placed bone-to-bone.
•637,000 watts of electricity will be used to keep the Bud Light Main Stage pumping with live music throughout the Rib Cook Off weekend.
•Rib fiends will have approximately 3,240 minutes during the four-day feast to savor enough ribs to hold them over until next Memorial Day weekend!
GENERAL EVENT INFORMATION
Friday, May 27 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 Noon to 11 p.m.
Sunday, May 29 Noon to 11 p.m.
Monday, May 30 Noon to 8 p.m.
The 20th Annual Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival has moved to the newly named Jacobs Pavilion and the adjacent Nautica Entertainment Complex on the West Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland. For more details, new venue information or driving directions, visit the festival's new and official website www.wkyc.com/rib or call the Jacobs Pavilion Box Office at 216.622.6557.
General admission is FREE UNTIL 3PM EVERYDAY compliments of Ohio Natural Gas, the official gas provider for Live Nation and House of Blues Cleveland. Adult general admission is ONLY $5 with coupon from Marc's or with online coupon from WKYC.com. Kids 12 and under are FREE everyday, all hours. Entertainment continues to be FREE with paid general admission.
20th Anniversary Rock & Ribs Dining Deal and Music Package! Rib lovers can purchase this special offer while supplies last and receive $50 worth of food & beverage tickets and 2 FREE general admission tickets to the Rib Cook Off, which includes headline entertainment, for ONLY $28! That's a $66 value for only $28, plus applicable service fees. This limited time offer is available exclusively online beginning April 29 at www.wkyc.com/rib.
Advance general admission tickets and a limited number of Front-of-Stage General Admission "BBQ PIT" tickets for Seether and prime reserved seats for Collective Soul and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, which include admission to the Rib Cook Off, are on sale now at www.livenation.com and all Ticketmaster locations. There are no discounts on advance general admission tickets or prime reserved seat tickets.
This Memorial Day weekend, play downtown and stay downtown at the Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown - the official hotel of Jacobs Pavilion and the Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival. Contact the reservations desk at 216.658.6400 for details!
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS!
The 20th anniversary of the Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival is produced by Live Nation and co-presented by Time Warner Cable, The Plain Dealer, WKYC-TV3 and MinuteMenJobs.com.
Associate sponsors include Anheuser-Busch Inc., Akron-Canton Airport, Bluegreen Vacations, Bud Light, Clear Choice Custom LASIK Center, Constellation Wines, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, House of LaRose, Kraft, Ohio Department of Tourism, Ohio Natural Gas, Nabisco, Renewal by Andersen, Scene Magazine, Snyder of Berlin Salty Snacks, Travelwise Vacations, Windows on the River, 96.5 KISS FM, 102.1 WDOK, 99.5 WGAR, WKNR 850, Majic 105.7, 100.7 WMMS, 106.5 The Lake, 98.5 WNCX, Q104, V107.3, WTAM 1100, Radio 92.3, 93.1 WZAK.
Our 2011 charitable partner is Easter Seals.