Mesquite Gaming, owner of the Casablanca Resort and Virgin River Hotel, is excited to host the wildly popular three-day barbecue extravaganza, the 2018 CasaBlanca Rib Fest. Beginning Friday, Sept. 7 and concluding on Sunday, Sept. 9, the Casablanca Rib Fest will feature some of the country’s best barbecue vendors cooking up delicious ribs and barbecue.
“Last year’s event was a hit among our guests and we can’t wait to bring all the delicious food and family-friendly activities back for the 2018 Rib Fest Christian Adderson, corporate sales manager at Mesquite Gaming “This event is one of Mesquite’s most enjoyable events every year because the entire Mesquite community gets involved, which makes for a great weekend.”
The CasaBlanca Rib Fest runs from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9. In addition to the food vendors, this year’s festivities will include daily food eating contests and a DJ to keep the energy high all weekend long.
The rivalry between the Mesquite Police Department and Mesquite Fire Department will be renewed again this year for another eating competition between the two organizations. The winning department will receive a $1,000 donation from Mesquite Gaming to a charity of their choice. The Mesquite Police Department took home the title in 2017 and selected St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as the recipient of the prize.
A detailed daily schedule is available here.
Notable food vendors:
- Austin’s Texas Lightning: Austin’s Texas Lightning was created after the owner, Nikki, had spent years working with her father, Tom Ferguson. After she was bitten by the BBQ bug, she went out on her own and started Austin’s Texas Lightning. Nikki has more than 30 years of experience serving award winning BBQ. The Austin’s Texas Lightning team has won numerous awards on both the national and local level including first place at the 2018 Mankato Ribfest, fifth place at the 2017 Best in the West Rib Off and has taken home Best Ribs and People’s Choice awards twice at Ribs on the River.
- Chicago BBQ Company: Owner and BBQ expert Tom Ferguson, after retiring from owning a chain of Italian restaurants in suburban Chicagoland, had a vision of creating Chicago’s ultimate BBQ experience.
In 1985 Tom started competing in national rib cook-offs. One year later, in 1986 he won the title of Best Ribs in The World at the Richmond World Invitational Rib Cook-Off. He has been going strong ever since with over 300 national and local competition awards, including placing No. 1 at 2017’s Best in the West Rib Festival, widely considered the best rib festival in the nation.
- Texas Outlaw BBQ: Best known for its ribs, Texas Outlaw BBQ boasts more than 250 first place awards in its 25 years. Awards include five-time, first place winner at “Naperville Rib Fest,” five-time, first place winner at the “Nugget Best in the West Rib Cook-Off” and the only team to take first place at “Pig in the Pines” five times.