The devastating news of Lincoln’s Ribfest being canceled for 2019 and beyond not only shook many meat lovers in Lincoln, but it inspired some to take matters into their own grills.
"We have to do something about it," 54-year-old Terry Pramberg said when he heard the news earlier this summer that the annual August event, a Lincoln staple for 23 years, would be no more.
So he and his daughter, Kim, 22, started brainstorming ideas about how they could create their own version of Ribfest.
"Weeks after we heard Ribfest was canceled, we were bummed about it, but we thought, 'Let’s do something fun about it,'" Kim Pramberg said.
For the Prambergs, Ribfest wasn’t just about the meat, it was a family tradition.
Every summer, Terry Pramberg used to take his children to Ribfest to taste different ribs from different vendors and decide which one was the best. He wanted to pass down his love for ribs and barbecue to his children.
Today, they've inherited his love for meat, competition and potluck.
With Terry’s help, two of his children, Kim and Ryan, 27, held their own version of Ribfest on Saturday and invited family and friends for a weekend's worth of cooking, outdoor games, movies and music.
There were 10 competitors, each providing ribs for five judges to crown a pit master. After the competition, the guests feasted on the extra ribs, desserts and barbecue side dishes.
The keys to choosing the winner: Tenderness, appearance and taste.
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But it wasn’t all about winning, said Ryan, who also competed in the cook-off, even though the winner did get a pig trophy for their efforts.
While Ryan admits his family can be competitive, it mostly just likes to spend time together.
"We’re an inviting family," Ryan said. “We like to bring people together."
Kim’s friend, Allison Docter, 23, was not surprised that the Prambergs would organize an event that drew more than 40 people.
Family members, friends from school, work and church and neighbors played corn hole, badminton, and chatted.
"I was excited to see them pull it off. I mean, they pulled the whole neighbors," Docter said. "That’s awesome."
Some of Terry’s neighbors also participated in the impromptu Ribfest to celebrate the end of summer.
Regardless of who won and however many people came, Kim said she hopes the event would become an annual tradition and help fill the void Ribfest left, with a weekend’s worth of fun, food and festivities.
"I hoped to have people have fun and bring people from all different parts of our lives just to celebrate the end of summer and family and friends," she said. “And just enjoy each other’s company."