Rotary Rib Fest turned up heat on friendly competition


The team from North Park Fire 'smoked out' the competition when their ribs were voted the "People's Choice" winner!

Local fire departments turned up the heat on friendly competition on July 23, 2022 for the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Rib Fest, returning for a second year with some of the same participants. 

One of the departments who returned to the scene at Viking Lanes in South Beloit was the South Beloit Fire Department. The department offered three types of ribs: baby back, split and country style. All the ribs were seasoned in a zesty apple flavor. Each was also wood-smoked by the talented hands of Brian Royce. “We used the 3-2-1 method of cooking,” Max Rude said. The method requires smoking the ribs for three hours, then cooking them on the grill for two hours wrapped and finally for one hour unwrapped. 

Another challenger was the City of Beloit Fire. “Our recipe is a tried and true method and we like to keep it a secret,” Nick Miller said. “We have been in rib competitions for 30 years. We always want to see what people will want and what we can do better.” 

Martin Quirk of North Park Fire Department had 'pork baby back ribs' that were slow smoked. Quirk and the department started their rib journey at 5 a.m., staying through the three hour event. 

Louie's Tap House donated the ribs, which proved to be a hot item - they ran out early.

Steady crowds voted on each rib recipe. 'Smoking out' the competition and named as this year's 'People's Choice' winners was North Park Fire. In addition to the ribs, Mary's Place Catering donated sides of baked beans and coleslaw.

The Rotary would like to give a special note of thanks to Viking Lanes Bowling Alley for the use of their grounds and place. Other sponsors who made the event possible are Mid States Precast, Alter, Sunnyside, Taylor Company, Cornerstone Credit Union, Walmart, State Line Foundries, Sosnowski Szeto Law Firm, Electricians Union 364, and Infratrol

All of the money raised from the 2022 Rib Fest will be used to give scholarships to seniors at local high schools and to provide books for different age groups. 

As part of an important literacy project, the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club purchased quality books for elementary school children this year. These books were presented to the elementary schools in Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, and South Beloit, as North Suburban Library- Roscoe, Talcott Library and South Beloit Library. 

Each year the librarians challenge the students to read each of the books but they don't always have enough copies for all of the children who are interested. The Rotary supplements the number of books. The Rotary received a grant from Rotary International that helped increase the amount of books that can be donated. 

During the 2022 Scholarship Night at Hononegah High School and at South Beloit High School, two seniors were presented with scholarships from the Rotary. The money raised from Rib Fest and other efforts  allows educational opportunities to expand further.

Mike Vrazsty grills up ribs as part of the North Park Fire team.

South Beloit Fire formed a "South Side Boyz" team at the 2022 Rotary Rib Fest held on July 23 at Viking Lanes in South Beloit. They were sponsored by the South Beloit Firefighters Association.

Beloit Fire IAFF Local #583 took part in a friendly competition at the Roscoe Rockton Rotary Rib Fest. These firefighters are no stranger to rib events, as they have been part of these competitions for 30 years. Their recipes remains secret today.

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