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Organizers term Country Energy Fest ‘a success’

By Carol McIntire

Ribs Burnoff
Pete Marshall cuts ribs at the Smoke Shack BBQ stand at the Country Energy Fest. The business is from Pickerington and had just returned from a ribs competition at Chicago.

Organizers of the second annual Country Energy Fest and are calling the event “a success.”

Wes Frew, who chaired the Energy Fest Committee for the Carroll County Ag Society, said overall the day went very well.

“We learned a lot from last year and made a lot of improvements,” Frew said. “We had plenty of ribs and other varieties of food for the crowd to enjoy throughout the day.”

The day included a car, motorcycle and tractor show, demonstrations, booths under the grandstand, performances by area bands on the midway and the main attraction, an evening concert by Broken Bow recording artist Dustin Lynch. Ohio native Clark Manson was the opening act for the evening concert.

“We had a good crowd for the concert,” said Frew. “Everyone seemed to really enjoy the show and we received some good feedback.”

Eight rib burners competed for the top prize of $1,000 for best ribs and sauce and the People’s Choice award.

Judges determined the Flipside Grille LLC of Magnolia has the best ribs and Performance Technologies of Canton has the best sauce. After Hours BBQ of Orville earned first place in the People’s Choice judging.

Smokin Joe’s Hog Wild Barbecue of Mansfield earned second place in the ribs judging and Jimmy’s Backyard BBQ of Carrollton placed third. In the sauce category, Flipside Grille placed second.

Jimmy’s Backyard BBQ placed second in the People’s Choice judging.

“We appreciate all the burners and the other businesses, organizations and individuals who provided food during the day,” Frew said. “There was certainly a variety to choose from.”

The car show was a popular event, attracting 91 vehicles from Ohio and surrounding states.

Dick Leslie of Carrollton drove his 1940 Ford convertible to the fairgrounds for the show.

He said the car has been all over the United States to car shows since he purchased it in 1940 as has “hauled its share of homecoming queens in parades.”

Terry and Brenda Thomas came from Wheeling West Virginia to participate in the show enjoy the oldies music provided by DJ. Spikeman of Scio.

Terry said the 1967 Chevy II was purchased about 15 years ago and has been making appearances at car shows since that time. “Car shows are our summer recreation,” he said.

Mark Robinson of Canton brought his 1978 stepside Chevy Pickup he purchased new to the show. While whipping the dust off the black cherry finish, he said the truck has had quite a life. “It’s lived through the horse show circuit and the rodeo circuit both,” he said. “It’s my baby!”

Dustin Bach of Salineville, who is opening up a custom-build motorcycle shop in Carrollton, brought two of his “beauties” to share with motorcycle enthusiasts at the show and took home the award for the best “custom build.”

Frew said with free admission, it is difficult to estimate attendance, but using the number of cars parked during the day, said he would estimate attendance to be between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

“We are still tabulating figures and evaluating the event before we make a decision on next year’s event,” he said.

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