Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

The Nugget’s Best in the West Rib Cook-Off – What to Know Before You Go

It is finally time to welcome the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off to Sparks, Nevada taking place August 28-September 2. Everyone loves a three-day weekend, so why not spend this year’s Labor Day surrounded by meat, smoke and sauce? With two dozen of the world’s top barbecue competitors serving more than 250,000 pounds of ribs, you are going to need a guide telling you where to go, how to get there and when to arrive.

Rib Cookers

With the winning prize of $19,500 in cash, this year’s 23 Rib Cookers are ready to bring their A-game. This year’s competitors include last year’s winner, Montana Q Bar-B-Que House, as well as newcomers Git-R-Smoked, from Fernley, Nev., and Whisky Creek BBQ, from Louisville, Kentucky. Sample delectable ribs made by cookers from around the country. The winners will be announced on Monday, September 2 at 2 p.m.

Do you have a favorite? Cast your vote online for the People’s Choice Award.

Rib Village

Why not enjoy the Best in the West Rib Cook-Off with front-row seats? Tickets for the Rib Village include side dishes, dessert, and all-you-can-drink beverages, including beer and wine. These tables, set for 10 people, are limited and sell quickly, so buy yours while they are still available!


Every night of the Rib Cook-Off there is musical entertainment that takes place on the Main Stage. What’s better than chowing down on delicious ribs, chugging a cold beer and listening to good music? This year’s performances include a mix of bands and artists from country to rock ‘n’ roll. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 28 – Joe Nichols
  • Thursday, August 29 – Crash Test Dummies
  • Friday, August 30 – David Nail
  • Saturday, August 31 – Candlebox
  • Sunday, September 1 – Devin Dawson
  • Monday, September 2 – Mumbo Gumbo

Little ones will love the variety of rides and activities in the Kids’ Area, and you can take a break from rib sampling for some shopping in Crafters’ Crossing.

Beer Garden

Last but not least, there is the Beer Garden. The Nugget Casino Resort is partnering up with Budweiser and Morrey Distributing to bring Rib Cook-Off visitors all kinds of craft beers, carefully selected to pair nicely with barbecued foods. So once you get your sampler of ribs, be sure to stop by the Beer Garden located on Victorian Plaza, near the water fountain.


Getting to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is easy. There is a free shuttle service, rideshare drop-off/pick-up areas or free garage parking at the City Parking Garage near the Galaxy movie theater.

Round-trip shuttles are available Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Pick-up and drop-off locations for this complimentary shuttle are the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, located at 1350 N. Wells Ave. and Sparks Christian Fellowship at 510 Greenbrae Dr.

To make sure you don’t miss a thing, check out the full schedule of the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off events.

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