Mix up the rub and put the sauce on the stove, it’s almost time for the rib cookoff.

The Eighth Annual Smokin’ Hot Veterans Rib Cookoff will be held Sept. 19 at the American Legion Post on Highway 32 west of Salem.

Due to COVID-19, this year contestants are asked to buy and bring their ribs, with their choice of rib types.

“Without signups, we won’t know until that day about participation,” said one of the organizers, Clint Medlock. “The event is mostly held outside, and we are hoping for good weather and a lot of cookers.”

Ribs will be judged in two categories, wet and dry rub, and one or both categories can be entered. A $25 entry fee is required for each category entered. Judging starts at 3 p.m., and there will be aprons and cash payout for each category.

The cooks and beer garden will be located behind the post home.

No rib dinners from the cookoff will be served to the public, but the Treasured Smoke food truck will be there during the event, according to a release from the American Legion Post. A portion of the food truck proceeds will go to the American Legion.

Proceeds from the rib cookoff will be donated to local elementary schools to meet the needs of children.

The 7th Annual Smokin’ Hot Veterans Rib Cookoff was held at American Legion Post 99 last year. Nine judges scored over 47 entries in the competition. Ribs were identified by a letter, so that the judges had no clue who the BBQ chefs were as they graded the tenderness, taste, and appearance. Close to 200 were served for the dinner after the competition was held.

Individual winners included first place, Bill Heavin; second place, Marc Reed and Danielle Reed; and third place, Ryan McMullin. The winners were all within five points of each other at the end of competition.

New last year was a dry-rub category. Winners were first place, Eric Allison; second place, JB Malone’s represented by Jarred Brown; and third place, Kate Bartlett and Rick Umphryes.

Winners in the commercial category were first place, Brian Shearlock and son, Caden; second place, Jacob Schafer; tied for third place, Dalton Enloe and Eric Allison.

Anyone wanting to sponsor or donate or get more information can contact Clint Medlock at 247-4667, Daniel Black at 739-1140 or John Young at 729-3710 (at the post).