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Enjoy the 2018 Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Great Food and Family Fun at Victorian Square in Sparks

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About the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

The 2018 Nugget Rib Cook-Off runs from Wednesday, August 29 through Monday, September 3. Nugget Rib Cook-Off hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nugget Rib Cook-Off is really a cooking competition between the professional barbeque teams that will also be serving ribs and fixins to the public during the event. The top rib cookers according to a team of judges receive cash prizes and trophies. There is also a People's Choice Award, selected by the crowds of regular rib eaters. Cast your ballot online at the People's Choice Voting.

Admission to the Nugget Rib Cook-Off and parking are free. However, you can purchase tickets to the Rib Village as a treat for yourself or a group. This involves all-you-can-eat ribs from every rib vendor at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off, plus side dishes, dessert and all-you-can-responsibly drink beverages, including beer and wine.

No Pets: Dogs and any other non-service animals are not permitted on Victorian Square during the Nugget Rib Cook-Off.

Nugget Rib Cook-Off, Sparks, Nevada, NV
Carson City BBQ at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Photo © Stan White

Activities and Events at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Most things at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off involve eating barbecue ribs and enjoying various beverages. However, there are other things to see and do for all ages, including Crafter's Crossing, a big kids' area with rides and activities, and a Beer Garden.

The World Rib Eating Championship features some of the world's top professional competitive eaters. Last year, competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut consumed 9.6 pounds of ribs during the 12 minute contest. Chestnut has won every year (except 2009 and 2015) since 2006. It is not clear from the website if there will be a 2018 rib eating contest. I will post updated information if/when it becomes available.

Free Entertainment at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off

There will be free entertainment every day at the 2018 Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Here are the schedules.

Main Stage Shows

  • Colt Ford - August 29, 7 p.m.
  • Mark McGrath - August 30, 7 p.m.
  • Joe Diffie - August 31, 7 p.m.
  • 10,000 Maniacs - September 1, 7 p.m.
  • Jana Kramer - September 2, 7 p.m.
  • Blind Melon - September 3, 3 p.m.

Plaza Stage Shows

  • Greg Golden Band - August 29, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Buddy Emmer Band - August 29, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Musicole - August 30, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • John Dawson Band - August 30, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Whiskey Preachers - August 31, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Kingfinger - August 31, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Audio Sky - August 31, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Rick Hammond Band - September 1, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Decoy - September 1, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Garage Boys - September 1, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Treedom Band - September 2, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Milton Merlos - September 2, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Jakes Garage Band - September 2, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Delta Cat - September 3, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Rib Cook Off Awards - September 3, 2 p.m.

Parking & Shuttles for the Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Over 500,000 people attend the Nugget Rib Cook-Off, making parking an issue. There is free but limited parking around Victorian Square. Some of this includes residential areas, so please be courteous to the people who live there. The better option is to ride the free shuttles from either of two locations.

Iron Horse Shopping Center – 505 E. Prater Way in Sparks - Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Reno-Sparks Convention Center – Parking Lot on corner of Coliseum Way and Peckham Lane in Reno - Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can also ride the RTC public bus system to Centennial Plaza from many other locations throughout the Reno / Sparks area.

Forget about parking at the Nugget unless you are a guest. Valet parking is only available to Nugget hotel guests during the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off.

Nugget Rib Cook-Off, Sparks, Nevada, NV
Chef working on his ribs at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Photo © Stan White

Source: Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off website.

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