It could be the most fiercely competitive event of the year - the 8th Annual Rib Fest June 24 to decide what Mountain Area service club will be crowned as having the “Best Ribs” for 2017.
The event is the one and only fundraiser of the year for the Oakhurst Community Center, raising funds for the center’s maintenance and needed improvements.
The all-you-can-eat barbecue dinner will be served at 7 p.m. with 500 pounds of pork ribs being prepared by teams from Elks, Kiwanis, Bass Lake Lions, Noon Rotary and Sunrise Rotary.
Ribs will be judged in two categories this year - People’s Choice (by ballot) and Best in Show (three judge panel). The Oakhurst Sierra (Noon) Rotary Club barbecue team of Bob Brosi, Doug Macaulay, George Sitts, Todd Miller, and Mike Martignoni, will return to defend its title from last year. Last year was the seventh time the club has won the title, at one time winning three years in a row (2009 - 2011). The Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis Club placed second last year after winning the title in 2015.
“We’re sure that all the other service organizations will be competing for second place,” Brosi said with a smile.
In addition to the ribs, dinner will include baked beans, coleslaw and garlic bread prepared by members of the Soroptimist Club, and ice cream and homemade cookies prepared by members of the Mountain Community Women.
In addition to the dinner, a silent and live auction will be held for four tickets to Disneyland, a wooden bear from the Coarsegold Carving Station, a Dyson vacuum, an overnight stay for two at The Redwoods in Yosemite, a one night stay for two and breakfast at Tenaya Lodge, and a custom barbecue made by the Yosemite High School welding class.
“While enjoying a great dinner and fun event, those attending will be helping to keep the Oakhurst Community Center operating and in good repair,” said Chris Baker, community center board president. “I can’t overstate the importance of supporting the Rib Fest. Without the support of the community we couldn’t keep the community center doors open.”
The community center was built with mostly donated labor and materials, and what wasn’t donated was paid for with funds raised at dances, fashion shows and bake sales. These events were sponsored during the early to mid 1960s by a group of men and women who could envision a place for town hall meetings and community social and recreational activities.
The women who raised much of the money later organized into the group now known as the Mountain Community Women, which still actively supports the community center. The men were all members of either the Kiwanis or Lions Clubs, which were the only two service clubs in the area at that time.
Major sponsors of the event are Sierra Tel, Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis, the Soroptimist Club, Oakhurst Sierra Rotary, Central Valley Community Bank, Clairborne & Associates, and Yosemite Bank. Sullivan’s Tire Pros is purchasing the ribs for all five clubs.
Last year’s event raised $17,500.
NOTE: Tickets are $25 ($10 for children under 10) and may be purchased from service club members, Dorsey’s Hallmark, Oakhurst Giftworks, or by calling (559) 683-5442.