The Great American Rib Cook-off and Music Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cleveland is the unofficial start to the Northeast Ohio summer season.
The event, begun in 1992, features live music (included in the admission price); BBQ'd ribs with all of the fixings; and lots of fun. The 2014 dates are May 23-26. Again this year, the event will be held at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica.
The four-day Rib Cook-off features ten BBQ masters from all over the state and the country. Among the entrants are restaurants from Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, and Minnesota. Northeast Ohio will be represented by Massilon-based Jack on the Bone. Prizes for Greatest Ribs, Greatest Sauce, and People's Choice are awarded.
One of the best things about the Rib Cook-Off is that the concerts are all included in the admission price. The 2014 line-up includes Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Disco Inferno, Taking Back Sunday and Blackberry Smoke.
Hours and Admission:
The Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival is open Friday (May 23) from noon to 11pm, Saturday (May 24) from noon to 11pm, Sunday (May 25) from noon to 11pm, and Monday (May 26) from noon to 8pm.
2014 admission prices is $5 with a coupon available online or from Marc's stores in NE Ohio. (Otherwise, admission is $8.) Children under 12 are free. Entertainment is included in the admission; food prices vary.
Hotels near the Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off :
The Hilton Garden Inn (check rates), on Carnegie, is the official hotel of the Rib Cook-Off and is offering a special "Concerts in the City" package. Other good choices include the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel (check rates) and the Ritz Carlton Hotel (check rates), both within an easy walk of the venue.
Parking and Transportation:
Ample parking is available in the Nautica lot, adjacent to the Pavilion.
This year, RTA is offering free transportation to and from the Rib Cook-off on all RTA rail lines.
Purchase $50 worth of food/beverage coupons in advance and receive two complimentary admission tickets to the Rib Cook-off and Music Festival. Visit the event Web site to order your tickets. In addition, $2 discount tickets are available at area Marc's stores.
Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival
Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Cleveland, OH 44113