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Ribfest: Overcooked, Overhyped and Overpriced

My advice: Stop by Wal-Mart pick up a Trace Atkins CD, stick it in the car stereo, head for Sonny's and have some ribs. You'll spend less and your clothes will be clean.

OK, I'll be the black hat on this one. Once again the band of itinerant barbecuers descends on St. Pete in the name of Ribfest. This event has long been an overpriced, overcooked, overhyped waste of time and money.

Thirteen bucks to get in, and that's if you buy your tickets in advance at select locations. If not, tack on $1.50 for the service charge and if you wait till you get there, a whooping twenty bucks at the door.

That's a lot of coin to get in and then pay inflated prices for questionable barbecue and soggy fries served on a paper plate, given the fact that the whole mess usually ends up in your lap or on the ground.

If you think about it, you can get a really good rib dinner served by people who look clean at most any rib joint in St. Pete for the Ribfest ticket price.

I think this whole thing started out as a local event, but it didn't take the folks at the Exchange Club long to figure out that a contract with the roving ribbers was easier than trying to attract enough local restaurants to fill the event.

This year's entertainment is kind of ho-humm, but the Trace Atkins show on Sunday at 6:00pm should be good.

That's the other thing they do at this event that irritates me. Put the headliner last on Sunday to get you to stick around and drop a few more bucks.

My advice, stop by Wal-Mart, pick up a Trace Atkins CD, stick it in the car stereo, head for Sonnys and have some ribs. You'll spend less, your clothes will be clean, and you can get the kids in bed at a decent hour.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Philip Penrose November 12, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Nowhere, Gene, did you mention Rib Fest is a fund raising event. If you are going to undermine the event by telling people not to attend, you could at least give the fund-raising aspect equal time. You call the event "overpriced, over cooked, overhyped waste of time and money." I could say the same of your tasteless post here. ======= Through the years Ribfest proceeds have contributed $3.2 million to local causes including: • All Children’s Hospital and the construction of its new hospital • Child abuse prevention – Help-A-Child. and Family Resources • Northeast Exchange Club service projects with Youth and Community Service • Promoting Americanism by installing Freedom Shrines at local schools "
Priscilla November 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM
The price is too much. It prevented me from taking my two sons there while my husband was doing house renovations. Plus, once you get in, you have to pay for ribs at different places. We have Smokin' J's right here in Gulfport which is awesome. Ribfest has been "St. Petersburged" too bad.
Trace Taylor November 16, 2011 at 03:11 PM
As I recall, fund raising events are about being of service and giving back to the community in a fun, positive way with family and friends not about five star dining. If there are those among us who can do better, I applaud them and look forward to their event. It's important to contribute wherever and whenever we can. I am saddened that someone would take the opportunity in this public manor to undermine such a money-productive fund raiser. While I understand blogging is about opinion, we still have to be responsible and respect what negative repercussions can come from our written opinions. Thousands of people in need could suffer because I could not distinguish between constructive critical writing that results in positive, progressive outcomes for my community and negative slams that do little to support my community. Just because we have the forum and the liberty to say what we think doesn't mean we always should. I am guessing that the people who benefit from this event through services and money would argue that regardless of food quality, the event was NOT a waste of time. And by the way, I have never attended a fund raiser that served great food. It isn't why I got the invites. As for the entrance fee, perhaps if enough people suggest to the event coordinator that they might get greater attendance if they lowered the price a little, the coordinator might listen and next year adjust the gate price so more people can attend with their families.
Trace Taylor November 16, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Here, here, Philip!
Priscilla November 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Part of my contribution to society is living within my means so I don't need assistance, and both my children and I give back to the community by way of direct donations to organizations in need (operation attack,etc) "Fundraisers" so often spend a lot of their money on the entertainment and food, which doesn't go toward the cause. But thanks for lumping me in with your group of people who "could not distinguish between constructive critical writing" now I understand. You must be more intelligent and a better citizen than I. Having reared my children not to "just be happy" as so many do these days, but to "give back to society more than they take" I feel that I can pick and choose my activities, be they "fundraisers" or not. I simply choose not to go to one that's overrated and overpriced. Not only that, I know nothing about the organization(s) to which some of the proceeds are given.
Trace Taylor November 22, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Priscilla, my comments we directed toward the blog post, not you. I agree the price should be lowered as you can see by my last statement about lowering the admission cost. You were not lumped in because you were not the writer of the Blog Post. I thought the beginning of my comment clarified who it was directed toward. Not sure why you would then assume it was directed at you. Please forgive me for any unintentional offense you may have felt from my comment about the Blog Post. I felt your comment about the price was very constructive but "Doc's" Blog Post was nothing of the kind. No, I am not smarter, not a better citizen or human being, in fact, I am probably the biggest asshole around. But like many, I have just had my fill of negative, puking, whining, pissing, moaning, bashing, complaining, trashing, bad-mouthing spittle that humans feel the need to share with everyone else because misery and negativity love company and the stirring up of non productive crap. My issue was with the Blog Post not the comments that followed. If it isn't constructive, then it serves no positive purpose for making things better for anyone. True, fundraisers do spend lots of money but if after the event, a sizable amount still went to charity, then perhaps it was worth the non essential expenses of putting on the event. And friends and family can share in the experience of the activity, that is, if they lower the price :) Again, Priscilla, I am sorry for any offense you may have taken.

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