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.