With 20 cases of ribs in at least 10 different flavors, the Rib Throwdown in downtown Grayslake on Sunday, Sept. 18, promises to be one bone-licking time.
“Grayslake just loves ribs,” said Joyce Campbell, president and founder of The Oasis - Grayslake Youth Center. “We know that and we will be prepared.”
The event, in its second year, is put on by The Oasis. The youth center opened in 2008 and serves as a "hangout" for area teenagers. It is run solely on donations and requires at least $40,000 a year to operate.
Organizers say the Rib Throwdown is just another way to get the community involved in supporting the center.
“Part of the fun is the smack-talking going on at 5 o'clock in the morning,” said Campbell of when the contest begins.
That’s when, after inspections by the health department, each team will receive a case of ribs and can begin their process of grilling or smoking their recipes. Electricity is prohibited.
Campbell says contestants range from commercial restaurants to backyard barbecue teams. “Everyone has a shot at winning the title and the bragging rights,” she said.
Ribs will be submitted for a blind taste test where judges will factor in taste, tenderness, texture and appearance before crowning the Throwdown’s first-, second- and third-place winners.
There will also be a popular vote award where the public can determine a winner.
The Grayslake Police Department’s Packin’ Heat team took the title in 2010.
The Rib Throwdown opens to the public at 11 a.m. and will run until the ribs run out.
Last year’s event sold out within 45 minutes, but Campbell assures that this year, they have four times the amount of meat.
There are still openings for amateur or professional rib-cooking connoisseurs.
To sign up, contact Campbell at 1-847-989-2233 or Mike Pruitt at 1-224-321-4080. Contestants have until noon Thursday, Sept. 15, to register.
The Grayslake Park District will offer activities for kids. Live music will be provided by The Downhome Sophisticates & The Shybillies.
Bike and Pet Parade Rescheduled for Sunday
The Grayslake Bike and Pet Parade also will take place during Sunday's Rib Throwdown.
The parade was rained out during Grayslake’s Summer Days last month.
The popular event is for kids up to age 12 and is open to the public. Costumes are highly recommended as ribbons and trophies are given to participants.
“It’s just absolutely amazing the ensembles that our participants put together,” said Judy Haga of the Grayslake Exchange Club which sponsors the parade. “Some of the most interesting costumes are those that the kids have done themselves.”
The bike and pet parade will begin at noon near The Vine, at the corner of Center and Slusser streets.