(Posted July 27, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
More. Fresh. Fulfilling.
These three words sum up this year’s London Rib and Jazz Fest, set for Aug. 5-6 in downtown London.
Last year’s rib burners sold over 8,500 pounds in ribs, pulled pork and brisket. Pat Closser, event chairman, predicts that tally will climb this year, just as it has each of the last several years. He sees the same happening for the beer trailer, which sold over 25 kegs (or 3,500 cups) at the 2015 event.
Back again are Fine Smoke, Gumm’s Grill, London Kiwanis Club, Rudy’s Smokehouse, S&R Ribs and Wilson Family BBQ. Other food offerings include everything from Texas tenderloin, hotdogs and hamburgers to homemade ice cream and the London Lions Club’s famous corn on the cob.
Festival visitors will have more options for sitting and enjoying the food and music.
“One thing we always hear is that we need more places to sit. We’ll have the café style tables and chairs again, plus a lot more chairs in general,” Closser said. Visitors are welcome to bring lawn chairs.
Also in the “more” category, organizers have arranged for an expanded number of children’s activities. Revive Baptist Church, located in the former Huntington Bank on South Main Street, is setting up bounce houses and other kid stations. The Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails is bringing its duckie pond. Returning are the Ohio Wildlife Center’s live animal display, a caricature artist, Touch a Truck featuring a real police cruiser, fire truck, emergency squad and other vehicles, face painting, balloon animals, blacksmith demos and gem mining. Children’s activities will take place throughout the weekend, but the focus will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
The festival also is open to more arts and crafts vendors. Last year, approximately 20 vendors sold hand-crafted items. Anyone interested in booth space can pick up an application at the London city administrative offices, 6 E. Second St., or download a form at www.londonribandjazzfest.com.
With one exception, the roster of music acts for 2016 is completely new. Linda Dachtyl, a perennial favorite, is the only repeat from last year’s line-up.
“With the support from the community and sponsorships going up every year, we’re able to book bigger bands,” Closser said.
All of the acts sit right in the pocket of funk, blues, soul, and rhythm and blues.
Also sporting a fresh look is the festival’s Rib Tickler 5K Run/Walk. Last year, participants wore glowing necklaces, rings and bracelets for the evening event. This year, instead of a “glow run,” organizers are putting on a “color run.” Entrants will receive white t-shirts. At various points along the route, volunteers will shower runners with colored powder, tossed from buckets or shot from air cannons.
While the ribs and other food offerings promise to leave visitors full, some events are aimed at leaving them fulfilled for contributing to charitable causes.
Proceeds from the “Dunk a Dignitary” tank go to the London Area Baseball Council. For $1 a ball, $3 for five balls or $5 for 10 balls, festival goers can take aim at local notables.
Proceeds from the cornhole tournament, slated for Saturday afternoon, go to the city of London’s efforts to install more handicap accessible recreation equipment in area parks.
A baked goods sale will benefit the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, a non-profit group of volunteers that helps to maintain and enhance the bike path that runs through London. The group also is hosting the Rib Tickler family bicycle tour.
For more information about the festival, go to www.londonribandjazzfest.com or follow “Rib and Jazz Fest, London, Ohio” on Facebook.
Noon-2:15 p.m.—Singer, songwriter and guitarist Drew Allan and saxophonist A.C. Collins combine to form the captivating Drew Allan Duo.
2:45-5 p.m.—The six-piece William Brady Project Band specializes in jazz and R&B. All of the band’s proceeds go to the William Brady Project, an organization that houses people with mental challenges.
5:30-7:45 p.m.—With 20 years of experience, The Conspiracy Band knows how to get the party going, performing classics and modern hits from Sly & The Family Stone to Notorious B.I.G.
8:15-10:30 p.m.—Hailing from Columbus, The Deeptones are a 10-piece band playing deep funk, soul and blues.
Noon-2:15 p.m.—Terry Davidson and the Gears throw down everything blues, from the blistering Texas variety to the low-down, traditional Chicago blues.
2:45-5 p.m.—Performer and composer Linda Dachtyl is a Rib & Jazz Fest regular performing jazz, blues, rock and classical tunes.
5:30-7:45 p.m.—The Legga-c Showband is a seven-member neo-soul, jazz and R&B band featuring bass, lead guitar, keyboards, drums and multiple vocalists.
8:15-10:30 p.m.—Legends Band will round out the weekend with an energetic show.
• Car Show (Second and Union streets)—Registration for the festival car show runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 5, followed by the show from 6 to 8:30. Awards will be announced at 8:45. The entry fee is $10 per car. See the festival website for a link to a registration form. Last year’s show featured 135 cars. Additional space has been set aside for an even bigger show this year.
• Baked Goods Sale—The Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT) welcomes the donation of baked goods to be sold to benefit FMCPT. Items can be dropped off from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 5-6 at London City Council chambers, 6 E. Second St. The goods will be sold at FMCPT’s booth on Main Street. For details, go to fmcpt.com or call (614) 205-6754.
• Rib Tickler Family Bicycle Tour—(start from Second and Oak streets). This 35-mile bike ride from London to Brighton and back will start at 9 a.m. Aug. 6. The entry fee is $30. Registration includes a map, support services and food stop. For details, go to www.fmcpt.com.
• Corn Hole Tourney—Registration starts at 1 p.m. Aug. 6, with play starting at 2. The cost to enter is $20 per two-person team. Proceeds go toward the city of London’s efforts to install more handicap accessible recreation equipment in area parks. For an entry form, stop by the city offices at 6 E. Second St. or download a form online at www.londonribandjazzfest.com.
• Rib Tickler 5K Color Fun Run and Walk—The run/walk starts at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at the county courthouse at the corner of Main and High streets. Registration is $20 and includes a t-shirt and the opportunity to be “poofed” with color along the route. Prizes will go to the top three male and female runners in three age groups. Race bibs, course map and t-shirts can be picked up between 1 and 4 p.m. Aug. 5-6 at the Rib & Jazz Fest information tent on Main Street. Go to londonribandjazzfest.com for a registration form, or visit the London city administration office at 6 E. Second St.