Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest kicks off tonight

What can you expect from the fourth annual Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest?

Great music, great fun for the whole family and, of course, mouth-watering, finger-licking good barbecue and ribs.

“The ribs are definitely the biggest draw,” said festival organizer Patrick Carnegie. “Any time you talk about good food and good music, people come out and enjoy them.”

Last year’s ribs and the festivities surrounding them were so good apparently, the event attracted a crowd of 20,000 people — up 50 percent, Carnegie said.

He hopes even more people will come this year, as there’s lots in store, including the Charlie Daniels Band.

“We can’t say enough about Charlie Daniels,” Carnegie said. “He’s an icon.”

The Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest at a glance:


What: Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest

When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine

Where: Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave., Palmetto

Admission: $7 online or $10 at the gate; $15 at the gate after 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Children 12 and younger are free.

VIP front stage seating: $20 Saturday and Sunday, includes gate admission and chair for concert.

Information: 746-7470 or www.gulfcoastribfest.com


The food includes some of the nation’s best barbecue. Represented will be: Carolina Rib King, Porky N’ Beans, Johnson’s BBQ, Big Boned BBQ, CAMP31, Willingham’s BBQ, J&J Bar-B-Que and T&L BBQ. Non-barbecue items include blooming onions, elephant ears, fried veggies, pizza and last year’s popular treat — fried candy bars.



6 p.m. — Koko Ray

8:30 p.m. — David Nail, whose hit “Red Light” is nominated for Single of the Year by the Academy of Country Music Awards


Noon — Boss Hawg

1:30 p.m. — Lindsay Taylor

3 p.m. — Koko Ray

4:45 p.m. — Dr. Dave Band

6:30 p.m. — Jim Van Fleet

8:30 p.m. — The Charlie Daniels Band


1 p.m. — TBA

2:30 p.m. — G-Force Band

4:30 p.m. — Eric Darius

6:30 p.m. — Ginuwine

Other entertainment

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, “Cruise to the Gulf Coast” Car Show

This show is free for speciality car owners who want to show off their ride. Last year, more than 160 vehicles were shown. Prizes will be given out. Judging will be by area children who attend the festival.


Children can enjoy bounce houses, slides, face-painting, story time, the Pittsburgh Pirates speed pitch machine, prizes and more.

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