What better way to prepare your stomach for the upcoming gut-busting stretch of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve than to grease the path with Ribfest?

The Northeast Exchange Club event presented by Sonny's BBQ celebrates their 30th anniversary, November 9-11 at  Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg with the right mix of family-friendly activities combined with tasty food and some great concerts. Then, there's the charity component.

RELATED CONTENT: Ribfest at the Vinoy Returns to St Pete

"We've raised over $5 million over the last 29 years for over 40 organizations," said Ribfest Chair Lisa Hood. "And probably half of that has come in the last 10 years. We're all volunteers - it's a requirement. We have a bunch of eclectic groups of people from all walks of life and one of the missions of the Northeast Exchange Club is the prevention of child abuse." 

As far as the food is concerned, these ribbers know their way around a pit. Over the years, some have been featured on the Food Network and the 2018 version of award-winning ribbers come from seven states, including Fat Fred's Famous BBQ in St. Petersburg representing the 727 area code.

"We've probably had an economic impact of around $8 million to Pinellas County businesses over the years," said Hood. The people who come to Ribfest will see that between 11 am and 5 pm, our local partners have put together a family fun zone with rock climbing, inflatables and some other elements of the Children's Museum brought in by Great Explorations. After 5, it becomes more of a concert and food venue." 

About those concerts - how's this for a Sunday lineup? A pair of Grammy-nominated and winning artists for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in Barenaked Ladies and Los Lonely Boys. The music starts at 5 pm Friday, 1 pm on Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday. All Friday tickets are $5 with Saturday and Sunday tickets available online and at the gates for $20. $18 advance tickets are available at Circle K stores throughout the Tampa Bay until midnight, November 8 or while supplies last. This annual Ribfest event in St Pete is a can't-miss weekend event of food and fun for the whole family!

Want to stay in the loop about other great events in the 727area? Be sure to register with MyArea Network for more cool things to do in St. Petersburg. Here's the best part - it's free!