Ribs, Rods, Rock ‘n Roll and

Jon Bigalk,co-owner of Willingham's World Champion BBQ of Nashville, TN, prepares to remove 100 slabs of freshly-smoked ribs from the "Willingham's Wham Turbo Cooker," invented by his uncle, John Willingham in 1981 in this photo taken at last year's Ribs, Rods & Rock 'n Roll event held in downtown Vermillion. (Photo by David Lias)

Each year the organizers of the annual Ribs, Rods & Rock'n Roll event come up with something new to attract more visitors.

This year's addition? Wings.

One of the highlights of opening night, Friday, Sept. 7, will be a wing war from 5:30-7 p.m., with people's choice judging.

"People like to sample what the contestants are cooking, and since it's a closed competition they don't really get to, so people's choice is a way for them to sample these things from national barbeque teams," said event president Jenny French. "A lot of other contests do another people's choice (in addition to the barbeque) – some of them do a chili cook-off, some of them do a dessert war – and so we just thought, 'Wings.'

"Pro's is kind of famous for their wings, (as are) different places in town," she said. "We thought the locals and the college kids would respond well to that."

Event organizers also have worked more closely with USD Athletics this year, as the festival coincides with the home opener football, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.

"We've got a combo ticket, where you can go to goyotes.com and get a ticket to the game, and either Friday or Saturday night of Ribs, Rods & Rock'n Roll at a discounted price," French said.

Attendees can also expect to see the things they've come to love returning to year after year – food and live music. French said five barbeque vendors will be in attendance, as well as 10 other food vendors.

A further 10-15 sidewalk vendors also will be there, she said.

The festivities will kick off Sept. 7 with the opening of the food court at 5 p.m. The area will stay open until 1 a.m. and will feature performances by Autumn Road and The Rude Band.

There also will be a family fun area with sidewalk vendors open from 5-8 p.m. that night.

The food court will be reopened at 10 a.m. Saturday, again closing at 1 a.m., and the Family Fun Area will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Prior to this will be a motorcycle charity poker run, and Breakfast with the Eagles at 9:30 a.m.

The South Dakota BBQ Championship will take place from noon to 4 p.m., as will the Classic Car & Cycle Show & Shine.

French said she has been told by car show organizer Scott French that there will be "a lot more entries this year."

People's Choice Public BBQ Judging will take place from 2-3:30 p.m., followed by the South Dakota BBQ Championship Awards presentation at 4 p.m.

The evening will feature performances by Mrs. Begley & the Boys, and Go Figure.

French said she hopes the event's lucky track record with the weather continues this year.

"Two years ago, it drizzled a little bit, but then it cleared off and it was great," she said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed. … We just encourage everyone to come on out. It's a signature event for Vermillion, and there are a lot of fun things to do and see."

For more information about Ribs, Rods & Rock'n Roll, visit http://sdbbq.us/.

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