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CLEVELAND'S ANNUAL BBQ SHOWDOWN MOVES TO JACOBS PAVILION & NAUTICA ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX IN FLATS

4:03 PM, Apr 25, 2011   |    comments
Jacobs Pavilion
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The 20th Annual Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival presented by Time Warner Cable, The Plain Dealer, WKYC-TV3 and MinuteMenJobs.com has moved its four-day barbecue battle to Jacobs Pavilion and the Nautica Entertainment Complex on the West Bank of the Flats. The scenic riverfront venue will sizzle Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, 2011.

Northeast Ohio's most rockin' Rib Cook Off is celebrating its 20th anniversary in a new downtown Cleveland location.  After years at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City, the newly named Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica and adjacent Nautica Entertainment Complex will host the 2011 Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival. The landmark venue on the West Bank of the Flats is located along the Cuyahoga River behind The Powerhouse in downtown Cleveland. For a map and driving directions to the venue, visit www.wkyc.com/rib.

What began as a small celebration to mark the beginning of grilling season in Northeast Ohio has grown into one of the most anticipated community festivals in the Cleveland-area.  During its tenure, the Cleveland Rib Cook Off has hosted approximately 1.5 million guests and entertained the masses with rib eating contests, celebrity meet-and-greets and even a wedding!  With its annual lineup of championship grillers and big name national music acts, the Rib Cook Off has become a family tradition and the "can't miss" outdoor event of the summer.

The meaty community staple is and always has been dedicated to world-class competitive barbecue!  Ten of the best grilling gladiators on the professional barbecue circuit will serve award-winning slabs, beefy bones and perfectly grilled pork to rib fans of all ages!  Teams from Texas to Illinois will grill for the glory and the chance to be crowned "Greatest Ribs in America" and Akron-Canton Airport "People's Choice." The event's top prize for sauce will now and forever be known as the "Butch Lupinetti Greatest Sauce in America" award in honor of the late New Jersey grilling great who won the title on multiple occasions, competed at the Cleveland Rib Cook Off for 19 consecutive years and passed away in 2010.

The Rib Cook Off also packs dozens of national, regional and local bands into its holiday weekend celebration. The non-stop entertainment scheduled on the Bud Light Main Stage and new second stage continues to be FREE with your paid general admission. A variety of free activities and interactive features add even more value and excitement to the festival's high-energy atmosphere.  On Saturday, May 28, barbecue fans can cheer on Cleveland-area residents participating in the Marc's Amateur Grilling Competition as well as a variety of show choirs from Cleveland-area schools and colleges performing in the ultimate Glee-inspired singing showdown. Plus, The Big Bite Tour featuring the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food will host rib-eating challenges during select hours Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 only.

GENERAL ADMISSION IS FREE UNTIL 3PM EVERYDAY
The Rib Cook Off will feature a variety of affordable deals and discounts throughout the weekend to ensure every foodie, family and music fan can experience the long-standing Memorial Day Weekend tradition. 

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 a coupon from Marc's or with an online coupon available at WKYC.com.  

20TH ANNIVERSARY ROCK & RIBS DINING DEAL AND MUSIC PACKAGE
There's even more savings with the 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 shipping fee. This limited time offer is available exclusively online beginning April 29 at www.wkyc.com/rib.

2011 GRILLING TEAMS 
This year's saucy showdown welcomes three new grilling gladiators into the BBQ pits of downtown Cleveland including Uncle Bub's BBQ, Chicago BBQ Company and Razorback Cookers. In total, 10 professional teams hailing from New Jersey to Texas will battle for trophies, cash and ultimate bragging rights. Sample barbecue and sauce flavors from seven different states, including: Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ (NJ) • Carolina Rib King (SC) • Chicago BBQ Company (IL) • DD Stutz's Jack on the Bone (OH) • Famous Dave's BBQ (MN) • Johnson's BBQ (VA) • Pigfoot BBQ Company (OH) • Razorback Cookers (AR) • Texas Thunder (TX) • Uncle Bub's BBQ (IL)

DEFENDING CHAMPS
The winners crowned in 2010 return to defend their titles! Sample bones from last year's champions and decide if they deserve another saucy victory:

"People's Choice" Award 2010               
Champion: Famous Dave's BBQ (MN)       

"Greatest Ribs in America" 2010   
Champion: DD Stutz's Jack on the Bone (OH)

"Greatest Sauce in America" 2010
Champion: Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ (NJ)
3rd Place: Pigfoot BBQ Company (OH)

BARBECUE JUDGEMENT DAY
After four days in the pits, winners for the 2011 "Greatest Ribs in America," "Butch Lupinetti Greatest Sauce in America" and Akron-Canton Airport "People's Choice" award will be crowned Monday, May 30 at 3:30pm.  An elite panel of BBQ connoisseurs, as well as local Northeast Ohio celebrities, will secretly judge piles of meaty bones using a blind taste test method. To determine the big winners, the judging panel will rate ribs in several categories including appearance, sauce, meat and tenderness. 

AKRON-CANTON AIRPORT "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" AWARD CONTEST PRESENTED BY 102.1 WDOK-FM
While Akron-Canton Airport is a better way to go, being a "People's Choice" judge is a better way to score complimentary bones at the Rib Cook Off!  During select hours of the festival, visit the WDOK booth and take a crack at the WDOK Mega Money Machine for the chance to become an official Akron-Canton Airport "People's Choice" judge. These lucky judges will be presented with free saucy ribs to taste test and rank.  The Akron-Canton Airport "People's Choice" judging will take place a minimum of three (3) times a day.  This prestigious prize is determined by the people, so we need your vote!

LOCAL "GLEEKS" HIT THE RIB COOK OFF FOR SHOW CHOIR SHOWDOWN PRESENTED BY FOX8, 102.1 WDOK-FM AND LIVE NATION
"Glee," the hit television show and pop culture phenomenon, put high school music education and the camaraderie of performing in a glee club in the limelight. On Saturday, May 28, a number of pre-selected show choirs from Cleveland-area schools and colleges will perform at the Rib Cook Off for the ultimate Glee-inspired singing showdown! Beginning at 1:00pm, each group will be given 20 minutes to win over the judges with their stage presence, originality and overall performance. Along with the Rib Cook Off crowd, a panel of judges from Live Nation, FOX8 and 102.1 WDOK-FM will evaluate each

show choir. The first place winner will receive 20 tickets to see "Glee Live! In Concert!," starring members of the television show's cast, at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, June 14th.  The winning show choir will also perform on the main stage Saturday at 8:15pm prior to Collective Soul's performance. Listen to WDOK-FM for all the details!  At press time, the following show choirs will be performing (with more to come): Richmond Heights High School Concert Choir, Rockapella from North Royalton High School, Miller South Show Choir from Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron, Cleveland Heights High School Gospel Choir and Gruv from various Akron-area colleges.

THE BUD LIGHT MAIN STAGE
The Bud Light Main Stage will host a sizzling entertainment lineup for the Rib Cook Off's 20th anniversary celebration. From Grammy-award winners and rock stars to platinum-selling artists, the festival will once again feature a national act each night.  Alternative rockers Seether kick-off the weekend at 9:15pm Friday, May 27 following a 7:30pm set of raw and rowdy rock by Cleveland's own Ohio Sky. On Saturday, May 28, Collective Soul hits the Bud Light Main Stage at 9:15pm after an encore performance by the winner of the Glee-inspired show choir showdown at 8:15pm and Red Sun Rising at 7:30pm. The headliner for Sunday, May 29 will be announced Monday, May 23, so stay tuned for details!  The weekend's music festivities come to a close Memorial Day Monday, May 30, with a shake your bones performance from Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers at 6:15pm and a 4:00pm set by British bluesman Matt Schofield.  For an additional charge, fans can purchase 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 includes admission to the Rib Cook Off. Visit www.livenation.com for additional information. 

MARC'S AMATUER GRILLING COMPETITION PRESENTED BY 93.1 WZAK, V107.3, TV3'S GOOD COMPANY, SNYDER OF BERLIN SALTY SNACKS, BUD LIGHT, KRAFT & NABISCO
The Marc's Amateur Grilling Competition will give contestants three racks of ribs and two and a half hours to create one award-winning BBQ masterpiece. The heated event will take place Saturday, May 28 at 12:00pm with reigning champ Drew Weber of Sheffield Lake returning to defend his 2010 win against this year's five competitors. After the smoke clears, the professional grill masters will sample and scrutinize the slabs to determine the 2011 grilling champ!  The winner will receive a $250 Marc's gift card and bragging rights. Marc's gift cards will also be awarded to the second and third place winners.  Plus, each contestant will receive a pair of tickets to see Sade and special guest John Legend in concert at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday, July 9 as well as the propane grill they used during the competition. Want to enter?  Log onto www.wzakcleveland.com or www.V1073.com for an official entry form and explain in 25 words or less why you are Northeast Ohio's "Best Amateur Griller."  Marc's Amateur Grilling Competition is open to anyone 18 and over. Submit your entry by 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 13 to qualify.   

OHIO NATURAL GAS "WHEEL OF HEAT"
Seek out the "Wheel of Heat" throughout the summer concert and festival season at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica and Blossom Music Center for the chance to "spin and win" hot prizes, including prime seats in the Ohio Natural Gas VIP Box as well as access to the VIP Club for that evening's concert. Plus, win seat upgrades, free food & beverage tickets, tickets to upcoming concerts and general admission tickets to the 16th Annual Taste of Cleveland on Labor Day weekend. 

THE RETURN OF THE Q104 BEER SLIDE TO BENEFIT APL
Beer and BBQ is a "win-win" for rib connoisseurs and animal lovers. Support the Animal Protective League over cold suds and saucy bones at the Q104 Beer Slide!  Plus, be sure to listen to Q104 for a chance to become an official Rib Cook Off judge. 

THE PLAIN DEALER INVITES YOU TO ENTER THE ULTIMATE VIP SWEEPSTAKES
Here's your chance to experience the ultimate VIP treatment and a summer's worth of concerts at the ALL NEW Jacobs Pavilion, courtesy of The Plain Dealer and Live Nation. One winner will receive the grand prize package, which includes two VIP Sky Box tickets, two VIP passes and a VIP parking pass to EVERY show at Jacobs Pavilion during the 2011 concert season!  Plus, the grand prizewinner will be
deemed an official Rib Cook Off judge and sit alongside the Plain Dealer's own Minister of Culture and self-proclaimed rib fanatic Michael Heaton on Sunday, May 29 to help determine this year's winner for "Greatest Ribs in America" and "Butch Lupinetti Greatest Sauce in America."  The grand prize also includes two VIP passes to the Rib Cook Off and $100 in food & beverage tickets. Fifty runner-up winners will receive a four pack of general admission tickets to the Rib Cook Off. Sweepstakes details entry form will be available in The Plain Dealer beginning in May.

JOIN US FOR A "MUNCH BRUNCH" LIVE FROM THE RIB COOK OFF
Celebrate Memorial Day with Mark "Munch" Bishop when he broadcasts live from the Rib Cook Off Monday, May 30 from Noon to 2:00pm.  Keep the radio dial on WKNR ESPN 850AM in May for your chance to sit alongside Munch and be an official Rib Cook Off judge!

ROCK OUT WITH RIBS AND MICHAEL STANLEY FROM 98.5 WNCX
Eat ribs and rub elbows with Cleveland's own Michael Stanley!  The classic rock jock will broadcast live from the Rib Cook Off Friday, May 27 from 3:00pm-7:00pm to celebrate the barbecue bash's 20th anniversary. Kick-off the holiday weekend by getting sauced with Cleveland's Classic Rock.

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 available at 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, Cleveland Gladiators, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, House of LaRose, Kraft, Lake Erie Monsters, Man vs. Food, MoneyGram, Nabisco, Ohio Department of Tourism, Ohio Natural Gas, Renewal by Andersen, Scene Magazine, SmarTravel, Snyder of Berlin Salty Snacks, Tri-C's® Recording Arts & Technology Program, Windows on the River, Wright State University, 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, 107.9 WENZ and 93.1 WZAK.  Our 2011 charitable partner is Easter Seals. 

WKYC-TV

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