The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 15, 2013

Mike Pound: Rib Fest a mouth-watering event

Sometimes, there is certain symmetry to life.

Earlier in the week I was thinking that this weekend would be the perfect time to slap my first slab of ribs of the spring onto my smoker. Actually, I won’t slap on just one. I tend to slap several slabs on the smoker because that’s the best way to get a mess o’ ribs.

I’ve never met anyone who slapped just one slab of ribs on a smoker.

I mean, what’s the point?

While I was thinking about the first ribs of the spring, I also was checking my email, which is something I don’t do as often as I should. Anyway, one of the hundreds of emails I scanned through was from Donna Moss at the Globe. Donna told me that someone had dropped two identical fliers off at the newspaper and one of the fliers had my name on it.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m pretty sure the fliers were dropped off by Chris Howard. The reason I suspect that is because the fliers were promoting the Joplin Host Lions Club’s sixth annual Rib Fest.

The event is a fundraiser for the Lions Club. Each year, Chris and a number of other club members spend hours slowly smoking a mess o’ ribs. When done, the ribs are wrapped in foil and sold to people lucky enough to have gotten their orders in before the ribs ran out. It’s a pretty neat deal. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

Because the rib fest is held on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 25 this year), I always seem to have something else going on.

Although I have never purchased a mess o’ ribs from the event, I am confident in telling you that they are outstanding. See, a year or two ago I did a story on ribs for the newspaper’s On the Table section.

I spent a few hours with Chris and other club members while they smoked a mess o’ ribs. Sure, when the ribs were done, I could have taken their word that they were good, but I’m a trained, professional reporter. When it comes to ribs, I’m a regular Bob Woodward.

“I can’t take your word that the ribs are good,” I said to Chris. “I took an oath when I picked up my reporter notebook. I am honor-bound to see for myself if these ribs are good.”

Well, that’s not exactly what I said. What happened was, Chris took the ribs off the smoker, sliced a few slabs and looked at me.

“Wanna try some?” Chris asked.

“Who you talking to?” I said as I grabbed a mess o’ ribs with my bare hands.

The ribs Chris fixed that day were spareribs — the same cut of ribs that will be sold during Rib Fest. Before I tried his spareribs, I had always considered myself a baby back rib guy. But Chris showed me that if you smoke spareribs long enough and at a low enough temperature, they can be every bit as good as baby back ribs.

The Lions Club will be selling their ribs for $16 for a single slab or $30 for two slabs. The ribs will be fully smoked and wrapped in foil and are only available by pre-order. You may call 417-781-0967 or 417-529-0065 to order.

Ribs will be available for pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Joplin Host Lions Club, 1827 Wall Ave.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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