Turning up the heat on Rockwall’s Rib Rub & Run

ROCKWALL, TX (September 23, 2014) The sweet smell of smoke and roasting meat will fill the air in Downtown Rockwall Saturday morning, Oct. 4th as the 6th Annual Rib Rub & Run gets underway with an exciting new feature for barbecue lovers. 

BBQ Outfitters Alley will showcase vendors that can help turn the dream of a backyard barbecue paradise into a reality. Grills, smokers, sauces, rubs and an array of barbecue accessories will be on sale. You might even get some tips on the art of “low and slow” cooking.

The day-long International Barbecue Cookers Association sanctioned competition is sponsored by Rockwall Main Street. Presenting sponsors are Rockwall Dodge and Community Bank. Cash prizes are paid for 1st through 3rd in each category as well as a Grand Champion. Registration and information is available online at rockwall.com/mainstreet/events.asp.

Rib Rub & Run is from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., but the fun-filled day gets underway with the annual 5k/10k Run registration at 7:30 a.m. Starting time is at 8:30 a.m. Runners can register at ribrubraces.itsyourrace.com/register/default.aspx.

The annual People’s Choice Wing Tasting contest starts at 11 a.m. when tickets go on sale. Sample wings prepared by barbeque competitors and vote for your favorite.

There will be all-day live entertainment by the Paul Harrington Band, The Rub and Water Sign; a brew tasting from 1-4 p.m. hosted by the Rockwall Old Town Shoppes in their businesses; and good eats will be available for purchase from The Fatted Calf, Culpepper’s Steak House and Route 66 Barbeque and Grill. 

It all adds up to one smokin’ hot day in Rockwall! 

The competition draws some of the best grill cooks to our city, said Bethany Browning, Rockwall’s Main Street Director and the event’s originator. 

“Larry Ewing, a competition cook, approached me with the idea in the spring of 2009 – about two months after I had accepted this job. Of course, I said yes. Not knowing anything about barbeque competitions, I just dove right in, and five years later, here we are,” she said, noting that although the past two years brought cold fronts and drizzling rain, “amazingly, people still came out to support the event.” 

The first year, she said, just 14 teams signed up for the competition – and it rained all day. 

“Not drizzled, rained! It wasn’t sanctioned that year so we were running the judging all on our own,” Browning remembered. “Very funny to me now, since it’s sanctioned and completely organized. We really didn’t know what we were doing, but we knew we had a vision for the event.”

The last three years, 40 to 45 teams competed.

“That’s a nice number. The uniqueness of a one day cook is appealing to teams that get tired with all of the weekend-long competitions,” she added. 

This year, she will lend her help and expertise, but the city’s Parks and Recreation Department takes over the growing event facing the challenge of hosting it during the major downtown renovation project. But the department’s manager, Andy Hesser and his crew solved the situation by moving the location from the square to the new parking area between The Center and City Hall. 

Experience the camaraderie of an outdoor barbeque and celebrate all things BBQ at the 6th Annual Rockwall Rib Rub & Run on Saturday, Oct. 4th in from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Downtown Rockwall.

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