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Ribfest 2014 Wraps Up

Hopefully you got a chance to stop by the 2014 Ribfest down at Headwaters Park during the four day festival this year.
Hopefully you got a chance to stop by the 2014 Ribfest down at Headwaters Park during the four day festival this year.

Ribfest brings thousands of people to Downtown Fort Wayne and those thousands of people consume thousands of pounds of barbeque.  This year, meat prices are through the roof and some vendors didn't see profits like they've seen in the past.

How did this year's festival turn out overall?  WFFT's Tara Petitt found out the details.

"Absolutely, hands down, beef prices have never been higher."

With meat prices higher than they've ever been, some vendors are saying this year's Ribfest is costing them much more from their pocketbook.

"This is the highest I've ever seen them.  I mean, 5 years ago I used to buy brisket for $0.89 cents a pound.  I'm paying over $3.00 a pound for brisket now."

Ronald Conaway, Owner of Texas Pit Barbeque, says although meat prices have gone through the roof, he isn't charging more from his customers.

"It's hurting me more than anything because I haven't raised the prices."

"It's been really tough on the vendors because as we know, prices have gone up so much with the drought and things that have happened, beef prices are through the roof."

Mark Chappuis, Co-Director of Fort Wayne's Ribfest says it's the vendors who are feeling the affect the most.

"One of our vendors didn't do beef ribs this year because it's $20.00 a bone.  Now that's a great big rib, but still you know, it's getting to that point where everybody's kind of laying off of beef right now but the pork prices, the guys have held the line.  They didn't have a price increase."

Solomon Williams, Owner and Operator of Carolina Rib King says he found a way to avoid paying more for his meat and his profits have only been affected marginally.

"We go wholesale so our prices are almost the same as the last few years."

More than 40,000 people attend Ribfest every year demanding more than 20 tons of barbequed food.

Daniel Federspiel with Jamison Meats says the prices at his store have gone up but just like Ribfest proves every year, customers are willing to pay for the smoked meat, regardless of the price.

"We do get some people they mentioned the price increase and we explain that it just comes with supply and demand."
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