Ribbers optimistic about location

It’s got a new name and a new location, but, at least for the latter, reactions are mixed.

Returning ribbers took time Friday afternoon to share their opinions on the location of the All American BBQ Festival as compared to Ribfest’s location at Betts Park last year.

Gary Stephens, of Sgt. Oink’s BBQ, expressed a sentiment echoed by all four vendors at the event.

“We’ll know Saturday night,” he said, referring to what is expected to be the busiest dining time for the event.

“It’s a little early to tell,” Todd Chiaravalloti, of Well’s Hog Wild BBQ agreed.

Kevin Pierce, of Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ, expressed hope things would pick up.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of business,” he said. “I hope we pack ’em in tomorrow.”

Overall, vendors seemed to like the physical fairgrounds, but expressed mixed feelings on the location.

“I liked Betts Park, but I can see with three events (moving),” Stephens said. “I’ve been up and down this road seven times and I’ve seen the police pull over someone four times. I understand you have to try something, but next year, if they have just two events, I say move it back to Betts Park.”

“I like the layout of the fairgrounds,” Pierce noted. “It’s a beautiful area. we haven’t had a lunch crowd, but Betts Park was a bit of a stretch too.”

“I like the setup,” Chiaravalloti agreed.

Tip Carlson of Well’s said, “It’s a lot roomier and it’s not as hot as on the blacktop.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Hern, of Awesome Aussies BBQ, noted he didn’t want to draw any conclusions due to the length of time since he had participated in a Warren Barbecue event.

“It’s hard for us to say,” Hern related. “We haven’t been here for four years. It was okay for us yesterday.”