BY KAYLA CULVER
B’s on the River is keeping the Fourth of July momentum going with their annual Rib Fest. This year, they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary and bringing in big names in country music.
Jo Dee Messina will be headlining the event on Saturday, July 13, at 10 p.m. Joining Messina is North Carolina family band Parmalee, who brings a blend of southern California rock to their music. Tony Ortiz and the Guns of Soul, the Blake Klaustermeier band featuring Lowell Schubert and The Hell Country Truckers will join infor a special BOB 106 Pre-Rib Fest Party.
“I wanted to do something different. When you book theses guys it is very challenging...I’m excited to have a female artist this year,” B’s on the River Owner Bryan Baumann said.
Parmalee will take the stage before Messina. The band is led by brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knowx and their best friend, Josh McSwain. Their breakout single “Carolina” is another tribute to their small hometown in North Carolina, Parmele, from which their band name also came.
Playing in small towns is “very relatable” Matt Thomas said. The members all come from small towns and it’s something they’re familiar with even as they continue to grow and play bigger venues in bigger cities.
“A good time. A big old party,” Thomas said when describing their set. He also added they are looking forward to opening for Messina and enjoying the Minnesota weather.
Messina has visited the Land of 10,000 Lakes many times and said she has also always enjoyed the weather Minnesota has, even in the summer, she added it’s better than the Georgia heat.
Messina’s breakout song “Head Carolina, Tails California” came out in 1996. Since then, she has had number one hits, 16 Top 40 songs and became the first female in country music to celebrate three consecutive multi-week, chart topping hits.
“Jo Dee Messina is one of those iconic artists of the last few decades,” said Baumann. “She has been a force to be reckoned with, and we’re incredibly excited for her to be coming to Rib Fest to help us celebrate our 10th anniversary.”
Recently, Messina created Dreambound Records and released her single “Reckless Love,” a song that has been well received by the Christian format; however, Messina said she released it in order for those outside the Christian community to get the message.
“Having a relationship with Jesus over the last few years, I thought it was a message that should be carried beyond the borders of the format. I wanted to record it and release it in a place where someone has never heard that message,” she said.
Over the years, Messina has released popular country songs after popular country songs. She describes her set as having something for everyone because she will be playing old and new hits.
“New songs, old songs, stories and songs they have to sing along with,” she said.
If country music isn’t what will bring you to B’s on the River, the annual rib contest and tasting just might. Visitors can see judges try the 20 to 25 different ribs and also enjoy the all-you-can-eat chicken and rib dinner featuring St. Louis-style ribs.
Those interested can also enjoy the pre-rib fest pre-party with the Hell Country Truckers and Bob 106.
“This year, Jim Erickson will be on-hand doing some giveaways, including a pair of VIP tickets to Rib Fest,” Baumann said. “We’ll also be doing our pork chop feed that night and have a few other things in the works.”
Tickets and camping passes for Rib Fest went on sale April 8. Camping passes are currently sold out. Tickets can be purchased at www.bontheriver.com or by calling (952) 955-2223. VIP tickets cost $95, general admission is $30 in advance or $35 at the door. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the local communities.