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2023 BBQ Ribfest: A Finger-Lickin’ Affair in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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The annual BBQ Ribfest in Fort Wayne, Indiana is a highly anticipated event that draws in crowds from all over. As a food and music festival, it is a true haven for meat lovers, offering an array of dishes that cater to all taste buds, ranging from brisket, pulled pork and sausage, to mouth-watering ribs.

Pitmasters from Texas, Carolina, Arkansas, and even Indiana come together to showcase their best smoked meats, presenting a smorgasbord of flavors and smoky aromas that visitors can’t resist. It’s no wonder that year after year, patrons flock to this festival to indulge in this unique culinary experience.


Our Winner for best Ribs – Timmy’s from Huntertown IN!

Timmy’s BBQ and Pizza from right here in Huntertown (Fort Wayne) Indiana specializes in BBQ and pizza. Their menu for Ribfest included a variety of BBQ such as ribs and pulled pork, as well as classic side options like beans and mac and cheese.

Timmy’s restaurant features a casual and welcoming atmosphere and is a great spot to grab a quick lunch or dinner with friends and family. So it was no surprise their Ribfest booth offered the same welcoming atmosphere. So if you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying meal post Ribfest, head to Timmy’s BBQ and Pizza and check them out.

Our favorite dish – Carolina Rib King

At this year’s Fort Wayne BBQ Ribfest, we discovered a mouth-watering BBQ joint called Carolina Rib King BBQ. Their signature dish, the Meat, Mac & Cornbread Combo, quickly became our favorite and we highly recommend giving it a try! The dish starts with a couple of fluffy pieces of cornbread, followed by a generous serving of mac and cheese, and topped with your choice of meat.

We opted for the slow-cooked pulled pork, which was coated in a tangy and slightly sweet vinegar-based sauce – a regional specialty from the eastern part of North Carolina, but popular all over the state. We are not assamed to say this dish was enjoyed three times over the four days! Don’t miss out on trying this delicious BBQ at next year’s Ribfest!

The Blues

Ribfest is a multifaceted event that offers more than just delectable food options. Over the course of the weekend, a diverse lineup of musical acts takes to the stage, weaving together a fusion of rock, country, and blues melodies. This lively and upbeat ambiance elevates the overall experience of attendees, providing an immersive and enjoyable atmosphere to indulge in.

Scotty Bratcher Stole the Show

Scotty Bratcher, a distinguished blues-rock artist hailing from Ohio, is celebrated for his emotive guitar skills and commanding singing voice. He has produced multiple albums/songs during his career and has graced many music festivals and concerts across the country. At the Fort Wayne BBQ Ribfest, he delivered an exceptional musical experience. His dynamic and energetic performance captivated the audience and earned cheers across the crowd.

The Smoked Q booth

Our team at Smoked Q had an amazing time at this year’s Ribfest, where we proudly presented our small batch, handcrafted sauces, rubs, and spice blends. Customers were thrilled to sample our products, and we were delighted to meet so many wonderful people. Sales were exceptional, surpassing those of the Home & Garden Show for the same days.

We were thrilled to see that our Hey Boo! and Summer BBQ spice blends proved to be particularly popular, and we even sold out of them! However, we are happy to announce that we have restocked these blends and have scheduled a new production run to bulk up inventory. We were thrilled to share our passion for quality and flavor with the Fort Wayne community, and we can’t wait to do it again next year!


If you’re a BBQ enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this event next year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover new BBQ flavors, share some brews with family & friends, and enjoy live music entertainment.

The Fort Wayne BBQ Ribfest is an event to mark in your calendar if you’re a foodie or a lover of great music. So why not come to Fort Wayne and experience it for yourself?


Date: Father’s Day weekend, Thurs-Sun
Location: Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Time: 11:30am – 11:30pm
Admission: Free early in the day, admission charged at dinnertime

Don’t forget to bring your appetite and your love for good music. We hope to see you there next year!

Mike 'Rock' Rauch

Mike 'Rock' Rauch

Hey! I’m just a backyard pitmaster excited to share my experience in barbecuing with you! I’ve spent over 14 years perfecting my skills, testing and refining flavors to bring my favorites to your backyard. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to take your taste buds on a new culinary journey.

Whether you’re someone who frequently grills or someone who loves to try new flavors, my experience in food is sure to make your next gathering extra special. From the classics to new, innovative dishes, I love food and I’m excited to share my passion with you. Let’s fire up the grill and make your next get-together unforgettable!

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Smoked Q brings small batch, handcrafted sauces, bbq rubs & bbq seasonings to the smoker and grilling enthusiast to share experiences through food to bond over the fellowship of the world of BBQ.  But we don’t do it without some help.  That is why we have teamed up with Walrus Oil to showcase their cutting board care kit.  Get your’s today with the link below.  

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