Complete Details

Go to Home Page

Competitors, be sure to read the rules.

The Details

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bernal Park
Hedding St & N. 7th St
San Jose, CA

Parking - Street parking is only available. Arrive early for best parking.

9:00 AM - Earliest time competitors can arrive and cook ribs
2:00 PM - RIB FEST EVENT STARTS (snacks, volleyball, beer pong)
3:00 PM - Rib sampling and judging begins
(food served)
5:00 PM - Dodgeball pick up games*
Times subject to change
* Must be 18 years or older to play

Family-Style Picnic
How best to celebrate friendship and family than to share in the love with your specialty dish or pre-made favorites from your grocer or restaurant. In the usual Rib Fest fashion, guests are asked to bring a dish or side dish. Cook off competitors are not required to bring a dish other than their delicious ribs!

Partake in the Rib Feasting!
Be sure to arrive by 2:45PM and sign up to be a judge to try each competitor's ribs. Vote on your favorite! (must be 16 years or older to judge)

Rib Competition Categories
Best Rib (Main Category)
Most Creative Flavor (Sub Category)
Best "Fall-off-the-Bone" Texture (Sub Category)

Prizes will be given to the winner of each category.
All prizes TBA.

Competitors and Judges

The Rules

Rules for Competitors

  1. Individuals or teams must notify us by July 17 that you would like to compete by either:
    1. Sending a text to Dave or MaryRuth or
    2. Telling us on the Facebook event page (private message or post)

  2. We may or may not accept new competitors after the July 17th deadline.

  3. You must submit a minimum of 20 individual ribs or pieces (enough ribs for judges) per recipe entry--maximum of 3 recipe entries per competitor. Please have you're racks cut into separate ribs before submitting. You are encouraged to bring more ribs so that non-judges can have a taste of your awesome ribs! See more about judging below.

  4. Ribs must be submitted in standard half-sized* aluminum serving pan(s) and covered with foil. These will be available at the park. Be prepared for us to move your ribs to a standard pan if you don't have one. We need to do this to try and keep contestants anonymous.

    * Standard half-size is about 11 3/4" x 9 3/8"

    (these will be available at the park)

    Submit in 11 3/4" x 9 3/8" pan (with no handles) and cover with foil.

  5. Competitors will be announced on the Facebook event page.
    We would like a reasonable number of competitors for the competition, 5-12 contestants.
    To keep it fun, we want to encourage participation but we will use our discression if we receive too many competitors for our judges to make effective decisions (This situation most likely will not happen.).

  6. NO store-bought, ready-to-eat, or ready-to-heat-and-eat ribs allowed.
  7. Ribs must be made and cooked by the competitors.
  8. Besides individuals, cooking teams and partners are allowed to compete.
  9. Any animal ribs can be used. (Please, no human ribs)
  10. You can make your ribs at home or bring your grill to cook at the park. Please see "Available at the Park" section.
  11. You may arrive at the park with your grill as early as 10 AM to cook ribs if you do not want to cook them at home. Again, please see "Available at the Park" section.
  12. By 3 PM, your ribs must be handed to the warden.
  13. DO NOT bring glass bottled beer or glass bottled drinks. Beer and drinks will be provided.
  14. If you will be cooking at the park, please use the designated area to set up your grill. 1 park grill will be available in this area. However, first come, first serve. (Charcoal will not be supplied for the park grill).

    Map of Event Area


The Judging

Picnic Guests Can Sign Up to Be a Judge! Rules for judging:

  1. "Blind" tasting--all ribs will be presented without competitor names. All serving pans must look alike, standard half-size (11 3/4" x 9 3/8") aluminum serving pans.

  2. 1 official round of judging will take place

    1. Official Judgings
      1. A maximum of 20 people will be official judges (7 judge minimum).
      2. Anyone other than a competitor can be an official judge.
      3. Judges must be 16 year or older in age.
      4. To be an official judge, non-competing attendees can write their names on the sign up sheet the day of the event.
      5. Official judges will be first in line to get 1 rib or piece of each competitor's submission.
      6. Official ballots will only be given to each of the judges.
      7. Each ballot will have all categories listed (see "Categories" section above)
      8. Votes will be submitted anonymously in the "ballot box" (judges will not write their names on the ballot).
      9. Votes will be tallied publicly on a tally board.
      10. Tie breakers will be determined by a rib cooking quiz (person who correctly answers most out of five rib cooking related questions wins).


Available at the Park

Please note the following items available for you to use at the park:

  1. 2 park grills (first come, first serve). Feel free to bring your own grill.

  2. We may have a limited number of Disposable Instant Grills (with charcoal) best used to warm up/glaze ribs. These grills must be used in the designated rib cooking area (see map above). NOT suitable for long cooking times.

    Grill Instructions (PDF Download - must have Adobe software to read)

  3. Standard half-sized aluminum serving pans and foil. Ribs must be submitted in an aluminum serving pan of this size and covered with foil. If you don't bring your ribs in an aluminum pan of the correct size, feel free to take as many as you need.

  4. Plenty of bench seating and tables. Feel free to bring your lawn chair for the grass.
  5. Plates, utensils, napkins, cups
  6. Beer and drinks
  7. Restrooms

Not Available at the Park

  1. No electrical outlets
  2. No charcoal
  3. No kitchen oven, stove, sink, etc.
  4. No cutting boards
  5. No cooking utensils


...Let the cooking begin!


Go to Home Page