RIB FEST Good Eating and Entertainment through Sunday at the Riverfront

HNN Staff
Texaco Country Showdown, Sunday 1 p.m.
Texaco Country Showdown, Sunday 1 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) - Harris Riverfront Park will be the scene of good eating and good entertainment , Aug 11-14, as the 16th annual Huntington Rib & Music Festival starts its late Summer run.

Tickets are $5 at the gate or $12 for a four day pass.


Each night has a headline act and a "warm up" on stage.  Saturday, Aug. 13, Michelle Martin opens for Joe Diffie, and at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Texas County Showdown begins.

Joe Diffie , Saturday 9 p.m.
Joe Diffie , Saturday 9 p.m.


Joe Diffie was regarded by many of his peers as one of the better vocalists in contemporary country, and lent his traditional sensibilities to humorous, rock-tinged novelties and plaintive ballads. He worked on his songwriting and singing over while working in a foundry, and caught a break when his "Love on the Rocks" was recorded by Hank Thompson. He took a job at the Gibson guitar plant while continuing to write songs, and became an in-demand demo singer as well. Holly Dunn's 1989 recording of a Diffie collaboration, "There Goes My Heart Again," proved a major hit, and Diffie found himself a hot commodity. He signed with Epic and released his debut album, A Thousand Winding Roads, in 1990. His first single, "Home," went all the way to number one on the country charts, and "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)" duplicated that feat; meanwhile, two more singles from the album, "If You Want Me To" and "New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame)," reached number two.

Diffie became a regular hitmaker over the rest of the '90s, and scored again with his sophomore LP, 1992's Regular Joe; "Is It Cold in Here" and "Ships That Don't Come In" both made the Top Five. Known primarily for his ballads at this point in his career, Diffie switched things up with 1993's Honky Tonk Attitude, which emphasized his rambunctious, rocking side and sense of humor, and proved to be his biggest-selling album yet. The title track, "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)," and "John Deere Green" all went Top Five. Sticking with engaging humor as the selling point of his hugely popular follow-up, 1994's Third Rock From the Sun, Diffie scored two number ones with the title track and "Pickup Man," plus a Top Fiver in "So Help Me Girl." 1999's A Night to Remember was the most straight-ahead, traditional country record Diffie had yet recorded, and it gave him two Top Ten hits in the title cut and "It's Always Somethin'."


Sunday starting at 1 p.m. WTCR wil give local singers their chance to make it to the Texaco Country Showdown finals

The 30th Annual Country Showdown is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America and to give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers.

The Country Showdown begins each Spring with over 450 local talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the US. Winners advance to their respective State competitions held at leading fairs and expositions. Acts then compete for a $1,000 prize, the State Title and the opportunity to advance to one of five Regional Finals. It's the last step before the prestigious National Final held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The audience cheers on the Regional Winners, as they compete for the Grand Prize of $100,000 and the National Title. A uniform judging system is used at all levels of competition to ensure fairness.

RIB FEST Good Eating and Entertainment through Sunday at the Riverfront


The first Great Pork & Fork Cook-Off cooking competition will take place on Saturday, August 13 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Harris Riverfront Park. The purpose of the contest is to test people's creativity and cooking skills with everyday products. The contestants may apply for more than one category (breakfast, side dishes, and entrees). What sets this competition apart from others is that you are to make something fun, creative and tasty. We want contestants to step away from the ordinary dishes of pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ chicken, and ham & egg breakfast casserole. We encourage participants to tell us why their dish is unique and creative, as well as what sets them apart from everyone else.

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