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Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

Facebook: Bob Hammerstrom at The Nashua Telegraph

Louise Smith pours on the barbecue sauce as she cooks ribs at the Gator BBQ booth during the Rock’n Ribfest on June 17, 2011, at Anheuser-Busch in Merrimack.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ribs, music and more at 10th annual Rock’n Ribfest

Rib lovers, get your napkins ready.

Nationally renowned and local “ribbers” will serve up barbecued ribs and other specialties at the 10th annual Rock’n Ribfest, scheduled from Friday, June 15, to Sunday, June 17, at the Anheuser-Busch plant in Merrimack.

On Tuesday, the Nashua Rotary West released plans for this year’s Ribfest, which will include a teen band competition and several competitive events, including the whoopie pie eating contest.

Judges will sample food from more than 30 of the Northeast’s best grillers and will select the New Hampshire State Barbecue Champion. The winner will qualify for the National Barbecue Championship in Bentonville, Ark., in the fall of 2012.

There will be a 5-mile race Saturday morning to burn off some of those calories. There also will be hot air balloon rides, a wildlife encounters area, a family stage with local youth performers and a display of race cars.

Admission is $7, purchased at the gate or online at Children 8 years old or younger are admitted free.

Sunday will be a special military appreciation day for serving and active military. Show a military ID for admission for you and up to four family members.

More than 25,000 people attended the event last year, according to event organizers. They are expecting nearly 50,000 this year.

This is going to be a busy weekend for Merrimack, as the grand opening celebration for the Merrimack Premium Outlets is scheduled from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 17.