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2003 Madison Ribberfest

Hoosier Hogs root out
Smokin in the Dark for title

Festival organizers pleased with turnout

By Don Ward
Editor

MADISON, Ind. (August 2003) –  The aroma of barbecue swept through the air along the Madison riverfront Aug. 15-16 as blues music filled the air during the second annual Madison Ribberfest.
This year's event attracted a crowd nearly twice as large as last years, according to festival organizers. There were more hot air balloons at Friday's balloon glow and then rising into the air on Saturday and nearly double the number of professional barbecue cooking teams competing for the Indiana State Championship in what is the state's only barbecue contest sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

Hoosier Hogs

Photo by Don Ward

Ron Marquardt and Fred Edwards of Valparaiso, Ind., with their trophy.

This year's Grand Champion, Hoosier Hogs, comprised of Fred Edwards and Ron Marquardt of Valparaiso, Ind., automatically qualified for the prestigious Jack Daniels Invitational, to be held later this fall in Tennessee. Last year's Ribberfest winner, Smokin in the Dark, competed in Jack Daniels and won six of 17 events last year, including the KCBS' American Royal Invitational in Kansas City. Smokin in the Dark, comprised of Larry Randolph and Brad Rapp of Springfield, Mo., placed second this year in Madison to earn Reserve Grand Champion. The duo drove 14 hours each way to participate.
"We love this event, and it's just as great as it was last year," said Randolph, who is in only his third year of competing in such events. Several teams use the team's rub in competetion.
"They way they put this festival together makes it one of the finest we've done," Randolph continued. "There's something for everyone to do. Seldom is there an event like this where people can buy food during the contest. Here you have vendors and music and a balloon race."
Hoosier Hogs also is in its third year of competition after getting the barbecue bug from watching the Food Channel. They recently won a contest in Carbondale, Ill., and were Reserve Grand Champions in Nelsonville, Ohio.
"This is a great contest; they do everything right and the people here are great," said Marquardt, a city official in Valparaiso. Edwards, his neighbor, is a real estate appraiser.
The duo said they have had more success this year after changing to a new cooker. "But there's a lot more to it than that," Edwards said. "It's really a combination of factors."
Hoosier Hogs edged out Smokin in the Dark by only 4/10,000ths of a point for the title. Lee McWright of Music City Pig Pals in Nashville, Tenn., was third overall. He was last year's Reserve Grand Champion.
To collect their winning tally, Hoosier Hogs placed second in Chicken, first in pork ribs, second in pork, 21st in brisket and 17th in sauce.
Smokin in the Dark placed 15th in chicken, second in pork ribs, first in pork, 11th in brisket and ninth in sauce.
Pig-Pak, eighth overall, was awarded the top Jefferson County, Ind., team after placing 23rd in chicken, ninth in pork ribs, 20th in pork, first in brisket, 15th in sauce, 15th in "anything but" and sixth in dessert. Pig-Pak team members included John Branigan, Merrill Nay, David Baratti and Mike DeShong.
Chris and Tom Cammack's Wildcat BBQ team of Madison placed third in pork ribs and first in "anything but" to finish 25th overall.
In the amateur contest held Friday, Madison's Jamie Edwards won the overall combined points title with his W.B. Hogwaller team, although he won no individual categories. Doug Spiller of Madison won in chicken and ribs. Don Schmidt of Lexington, Ky., won in pork, Roger Mogg in beef, Nick Sena of Cincinnati in game, Mark Auxier of Madison in sauce and K.C. Corbin and Mike Fessler of Madison in rub.
The crowd was entertained all weekend by blues bands, including the local bands, the Doctors' Band and the Blues Devils. Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers was Saturday night's headliner, with Duke Tumato closing the festival.
"We were very pleased with the response this year, and we expect this festival to continue to grow," said Jeff Garrett, who is credited with conceiving and founding the event last year. Health problems and a new position as executive director of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce forced Garrett to give up the directorship to Kathy Ayers this year, however, he still serves on the festival committee.


Madison Ribberfest Pro Cooking Results
Aug. 16, 2003, Madison, Ind.

Overall Winners
* Grand Champion - Hoosier Hogs, Valparaiso, Ind.
** Reserve Grand Champion - Smokin in the Dark, Springfield, Mo.
3. Music City Pig Pals, Nashville, Tenn.
4. J-Mack Cookers, Bardwell, Ky.
5. Big Daddy and the Kid, Algonquin, Ill.
* = Automatically qualifies for the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational as the Indiana State Champion.
** = Defending champion from 2002.

Category Winners
Category: Chicken
1. Big Daddy and the Kid
2. Hoosier Hogs
3. Music City Pig Pals
4. Smokin Ribz BBQ
5. J-Mack Cookers
Category: Pork Ribs
1. Hoosier Hogs
2. Smokin in the Dark
3. Wildcat BBQ
4. Piggin N Grinnin
5. Bonesmokers
Category: Pork
1. Smokin in the Dark
2. Hoosier Hogs
3. J-Mack Cookers
4. Pit Sniffers
5. Falls City Smokers
Category: Brisket
1. Pig-Pak
2. Smoke Amore
3. Music City Pig Pals
4. Pork 4 Skins
5. Piggin N Grinnin
Category: Sauce
1. Piggin N Grinnin
2. Bibs N Ribs
3. Bayou Bluegrass BBQ
4. Rib Runners
5. Hoosier Qrew
Category: Anything But
1. Wildcat BBQ
2. Smokin Ribz BBQ
3. Fall City Smokers
4. Rock and Rosebud
5. Smokin Elvises
Category: Dessert
1. Fall City Smokers
2. Piggin N Grinnin
3. Rib Runners
4. Smokin Ribz BBQ
5. Fatman and the BBQ Guru
Best of Jefferson County, Ind.: Pig-Pak

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