Holtville’s Rib Cook-Off draws thousands



HOLTVILLE – The 23rd Annual Holtville Athletic Club Rib Cook-Off Saturday at Samaha Park was a huge success.

12,000 pounds of fresh pork ribs were BBQ’d for approximately 20,000 hungry attendees.

All proceeds from the event are earmarked to benefit Holtville area youth activity education and athletic groups.

The majority of the 600 event volunteers are comprised of are athletic, youth organization, and educational groups and their leaders.

City Manager Alexander Meyerhoff said, “The City of Holtville will triple in size today. We were expecting 15,000 people today, but initial numbers are going to put us closer to 20,000. Everyone is having a great time and the food is absolutely delicious.”

Prizes and awards topped $10,000. The top prize of $1,000 went to Big Al’s Paradise Café from Mission Beach. They were the judge’s choice for the Best Ribs.

The judge’s for the rib competition were the Blue Angels maintenance crew.

Richard Valenzuela, with Red Neck Ribs, would not give up any secret recipes.

“We usually do pretty well,” said Valenzuela. “We also serve breaded cauliflower and asparagus with our special chipolte dipping sauce. It’s a favorite of many.”

KXO Radio, one of the major sponsors, hosted live music with 4 bands with owner Gene Brister emceeing. 

Last year’s Rib Cook-Off attendance was a bit lighter due to rain.

Saturday’s sunny weather was a welcome sight to event sponsors and attendees with temperatures reaching the 80’s.

“No rain,” said Rudy Schaffner, community leader. “The weather is beautiful. We have 20-plus teams in this year’s Cook-Off, 250 gallons of homemade ice cream, Kettle Korn, fish tacos, fresh squeezed lemonade, and it’s all for the kids.”


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