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Reno Rib Cook Off

August 31 - September 5

The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is one of the biggest in the nation! Often referred to as the Super Bowl of rib competitions, this festival hosts more than 20 rib cookers creating delectable smoked and barbecued dishes for all ages to enjoy. To participate in the Sparks Rib Cookoff, barbecue companies travel from far-away cities and towns such as Pittsburgh; Minneapolis; Fayetteville, Ark.; Rochester, Ind.; Elizabethtown, Ky.; Burr Ridge, Ill.; Frenchtown, Mont.; and Borger, Texas. And you’ll find some local vendors as well, including Brothers Barbecue from Reno, BJ’s Barbecue from Sparks, Carson City BBQ from Carson City, and last year’s winner, Git-R-Smoked, from Sparks. All vie for bragging rights and more than $19,000 in cash.

Fun facts: Each year, the estimated 350,000 to 400,000 barbecue enthusiasts consume more than 250,000 pounds of mouth-watering ribs at this yummy event. People travel from all over the nation and across the world, including from Australia, to attend the Reno NV Rib Cookoff. 

The best way to enjoy the Reno Rib Cookoff is to purchase VIP tickets. This allows you to try dishes from all the vendors, and it guarantees you a place to sit and enjoy each flavorful dish. To top it off, tickets include free beverages to tame the taste buds from some of the spicier selections or to compliment a sweet hickory sauce, for instance. Tickets for the Sparks Rib Cookoff can be purchased at Nuggetribcookoff.com. 

Along with the delicious food, the Reno Rib Cookoff features a long list of vendors selling clothing, jewelry, toys, and much more. Other activities include a huge arts and crafts show, Beer Garden, Kids Carnival, the aforementioned VIP Area, and top-named entertainment performing on two stages. About 20 different bands and artists, including Everlast, Jefferson Starship, Fuel, Adam Sanders, and Eddie Montgomery, entertain the crowd. Most days of the festival, the live music showcase begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

Now, when is the Reno Rib Cookoff? It takes place over Labor Day weekend annually. In 2022, it begins Wednesday, Aug. 31 and continues through Monday, Sept. 5. There is no admission fee, and the event is open to the public. Free parking is located near the event, but is extremely limited and fills up quickly. We recommend taking advantage of the free shuttle service. If you’re coming in from out of town to enjoy the Reno Rib Cookoff, sometimes called the Sparks Rib Cookoff due to its location, stay in the heart of the action at the Nugget Casino Resort, located on Victorian Square. The festival spans more than six city blocks in the heart of downtown Sparks on Victorian Avenue between 14th Street and Pyramid Way.

Leave your non-service animals at home (they are not permitted in Victorian Square). But grab your friends and family members and bring your appetite to enjoy the sunshine, a cool glass of lemonade, and the best ribs you’ve ever eaten.


August 31
September 5
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Nugget Casino Resort
1100 Nugget Avenue,
Sparks, NV
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Contact Us

edible Reno-Tahoe
316 California Ave., No. 258,
Reno, NV 89509.
(775) 746 3299

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