Today was the 9th annual Berlin Harvest Festival and Rib Cookoff held in downtown Berlin, Ohio. The event marks the beginning of the fall season in Ohio Amish country and was very well attended this year. The weather was absolutely perfect and there were more rib cookoff contestants than ever before. My wife was once again selected as one of the rib cook-off judges. She’s fortunate; she gets to start taste testing around 11am. Many of the rib vendors arrive around 4am to start gearing up for the day. The winner of this year’s cook-off was Country Grill Smokin Joe’s Barbeque. Smokin Joe gave me a sample and I must say his ribs were tender and juicy, fall off the bone ribs with a savory barbeque sauce. Just the way I like ’em. Other rib vendors included Boyd and Wurthman Restaurant (2nd place), Cindy’s Diner, Bone Suckin BBQ, 2 Guys and a Grill (last year’s winner), Farmstead Restaurant, Coalway, Miller Family Catering, Bogey’s Smokin BAR-B-Q, Log Cabin Catering, Big E’s Southern Q, and Department of BBQ. In addition to the ribs there were home-made noodles and dressing, sandwiches, cheese, home-made donuts and ice cream, bakery items, and lots of other goodies. During this event most of the Berlin area merchants also have some great sidewalk sales going and there is non-stop music on the square provided by local musicians and groups.
At 6pm the streets were jam packed with people, young and old and in-between, to watch the Berlin Harvest Festival Parade. The people in the parade shower the standers and sitters by with plenty of candy and other goodies. I heard the announcer say that this is the only parade in Ohio where the crowd gets free home-made ice cream from one of the parade participants. I happen to know that the participant she was referring to was Walnut Creek Cheese and one of their employees gave me a small sample. The brand is Mudd Valley Creamery and it is extremely rich and creamy. Didn’t take me long to polish it off. What a day it was!