June 8, 2006

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Nashua Publisher's Note: No backyard barbecue
By Jeff Rapsis

This weekend brings one of the year’s biggest annual events in the Greater Nashua region—the Rockin’ Ribfest, which will take place from Friday to Sunday on the grounds of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack.

In case you’re one of the very few folks who haven’t ever attended, the Ribfest is a celebration of great food (mostly ribs, but other things, too), great music, and great family fun. You’ll find all the details in this week’s Hippo.

In past years, the Ribfest has attracted as many as 30,000 people, which is an astounding number. (That’s more than twice the population of, say, Milford.) But because the grounds are so open and spread-out, it doesn’t seem like it’s crowded, so don’t let those numbers scare you away.

What’s the purpose? Besides everyone having a good time, all activities raise money for Nashua Rotary West, organizer of the annual event. In turn, the Rotary supports all types of local charitable causes year round, so Ribfest itself is a worthy cause.

But it’s also a spectacular outdoor event — especially for your nostrils and taste buds. As New Hampshire’s official tournament rib competition, the Ribfest is not just any backyard barbecue. It attracts some of the most talented chefs from anywhere, some of whom travel from state to state and compete in cook-offs all over the nation.

The result is out-of-this-world food that you won’t find in many chain restaurants. There’s really nothing like barbecue outdoors to get those salivary glands going into overdrive. And the fun atmosphere that prevails — hey, it takes place at an industrial-sized brewery — add to the experience.

All that’s needed, really, is for the weather to cooperate. And that’s where Hippo comes in. Yes, that’s right — at this year’s Ribfest, Hippo is the official sponsor of (drum roll, please) ... the WEATHER!

No dull media sponsorship-type deal for us. No sir — we’ll take our chances as Ribfest weather sponsor, ready to receive credit from all corners when the weekend turns out to be sparkling and sunny and marvelous, complete with a light breeze blowing the brewery’s malt-and-grain scents in just the right direction.

And if it doesn’t? Well, who really controls the weather, right? Ha ha! Can’t you guys take a joke? Weather sponsor — really! You’ve got to be kidding.

But inclement weather just isn’t going to happen. If it did, however, our sponsorship might turn out to be a wise bet.

Why? In the event of really bad weather, perhaps our sponsorship entitles Hippo to apply directly for FEMA funds and low interest federal government loans. This could be a whole new business sideline for us!

Seriously, we were offered the chance to participate as a media sponsor, but the slot for “weather sponsor” was still open and sounded much more intriguing. What’s more unpredictable than the weather? What are people going to talk about, whether it’s good or bad?

The weather. Now brought to you by the friendly folks at The Hippo!

First the Nashua Pride bathrooms at Holman Stadium, now this. Where will it end?

If anyone is interested in a newspaper sponsoring his or her DNA, give me a call!.


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