After a hiatus of four years, Desperado’s BBQ & Rib Co. of Hinckley, Ohio, won the Ground Zero Best of Show trophy, banner and $1,000 prize money Aug. 16 at the 22nd annual Nebraska Pork Producers' Capital City Ribfest in the outdoor festival area north of Pinnacle Bank Arena.
“In recent years we've always been very close, like second or third place, but we haven't won it in a while,” said Desperado’s owner Donna Rice. “So I told my team we needed to change it up a little, and they talked me into going with a new sauce. It really was a team effort.”
Rice added, “We’re an original to Ribfest. We’ve been coming here over 20 years now.”
Judges were Lincoln Journal Star Ground Zero staffers including editor Zach Pluhacek, entertainment writer L. Kent Wolgamott, photographer Gwyneth Roberts and this year’s Ribfest contest winner, Dave Beatty.
Ribfest continued Aug. 17-18 with seven barbecue vendors providing ribs, pulled pork, briskets and other fixings to thousands who attended the three-day event. New this year was Fine Smoke BBQ of Westerville, Ohio, which finished runner-up in the Ground Zero voting.
A variety of live entertainers included Chris Sayre, Diamond Empire, and Evan Bartels & The Stoney Lonesomes on Aug. 16; John Walker, Mike Semrad & The River Hawks, Lloyd McCarter & The Honky Tonk Revival, and the Emmett Bower Band on Aug. 17; and AM/FM and Here Come the Mummies on Aug. 18.
A can of food was the suggested admission donation Aug. 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., benefiting the Food Bank of Lincoln.