By Marianne Mueller

Congratulations North Park Fire Dept., the winner of the Rockton Roscoe Rotary Ribfest – The People’s Choice of the best ribs.

Local fire departments turned up the heat on friendly competition on July 23. The occasion was the Rockton Roscoe Rotary Rib Fest, returning for a second year, welcoming back some of the same participants.

One of the departments who returned to the scene at Viking Lanes
in South Beloit was South Beloit Firefighters.

The department offered three types of ribs – Baby Back, Split and Country Style. All of the ribs were seasoned in a zesty apple flavor. Each was also wood smoked by the talented hands of Brian Royce.

“We used the 3-2-1 method of cooking,” Max Rude said. The first step requires three hours of ribs being smoked; the second is to cook them two hours wrapped on the grill and the final one hour opened.

Another challenger was the City of Beloit Fire.

“Our recipe is a tried and true method, and we like to keep it a secret,” Nick Miller said.

“We have been in rib competitions for 30 years. We always want to see what people will want and what we can do better.”

Martin Quirk of North Park Fire Department had Baby Back ribs that were slow smoked. Quirk and the department started their rib journey at 5 a.m., staying through the three-hour event.

Louie’s Tap House donated ribs and proved to be a popular hot spot as they ran out of ribs early.

Each rib was voted on per a ‘People’s Choice by steady crowds. “Smoking Out” the competition and named as this year’s winners was North Park Fire.

In addition to the ribs, sides of baked beans and coleslaw were offered and donated by “Mary’s Place Catering.”

The Rotary would like to give a special note of thanks to Viking Lanes Bowling Alley for the use of their grounds and place.

Other sponsors who made the event possible are: Mid States Precast, Alter, Sunnyside, Taylor Company, Cornerstone Credit Union, Walt-Mart, Stateliness Foundry, Soznowski/Szeto Law Firm, Electricians Union 364, and Infatrol.

All of the money raised from the 2022 Rib Fest will be used to give scholarships to seniors at local high schools.

During the 2022 Scholarship Night at Hononegah High School and at South Beloit High School, two seniors were presented with scholarships from the Rotary. With money raised from Rib Fest and other efforts this further allows educational opportunities to expand.

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