Calling all rib enthusiasts! Calling anyone who loves fried food, streets full of shopping vendors, and families looking for a fun night out! Named as one of the largest free-entry rib cook-off festivals in the country, you don’t want to miss the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off! Since 1989, this cook-off has been a favorite event for many barbecue lovers! Last year, the event was cancelled due to Covid-19, and many broke their streak of attending every year. This year, the festival is back, and will bring in competitors from all around the nation!

During the days September 1st-6th, Victorian Square will be filled with the smell of barbecue and people enjoying one of the last events of the summer. Not only are there ribs from all around the country, but many delicious desserts, appetizers, and entrees along the street! As you walk along the stretch of the festival people are found eating ribs, sandwiches, fried zucchini, ice cream, candy, caramel apples, hush puppies, and fries! 

My family has lived in Sparks since 2005, and we have attended the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off on many occasions. Over the years, my son and I would try many of the ribs, while my wife and daughter stuck to the hush puppies, funnel cakes, and frozen fruit treats! In our most recent trip to the cook-off, my son’s now wife joined us in eating the delicious barbecue. This year, I hope to convince my wife and daughter to eat some ribs, not just their fried zucchini! Nevertheless, whether or not you adore barbecue, you are sure to find something good to eat and have a good time! 

The best time to arrive at the cook-off would be around 4pm or 5pm in my opinion. This way, the heat of the afternoon has worn off, but it’s still bright enough to find your way around all the barbecue competitors!

With plenty of food options, music performances, shopping stands, kids’ activities, and a summer vibe in the air, you can’t go wrong with attending the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off!


Thank you for reading The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off! Get the inside scoop on other events in Reno/Sparks here! 

You may also like our blog, Top Ten Things to do in Reno/Sparks This Summer!

Posted by Heath Montgomery on


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