NABHM’s Ribs & Ragtime delivers relaxing atmosphere

By Joel Charron

According to North American Black Historical Museum curator Kenn Stanton, perfect weather and a relaxing atmosphere helped the 2nd Annual Ribs & Ragtime into a smashing success.

“It was a great day,” said Stanton.

The second year event, which was held on the grounds of the Museum, drew roughly 200 people.

Stanton reminiaced that, although people enjoyed themselves last year, the hot, humid weather sometimes made it uncomfortable for guests to fully experience Ribs & Ragtime. However, this year, the weather cooperated with the organizers and provided them with temperatures in the 80’s with a cooling breeze.

“The weather was perfect. People were able to enjoy the evening in a comfortable manner,” said Stanton.

Heading into their second year of operation, Stanton mentioned that there were a few things they did differently this time around.

Not only did the set up take three hours less than last year, guests were treated to table service rather than stand in line for food like last year. The servers were high school students and were complimented on their good manners.

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet plays for the crowd at last week’s Rib & Ragtime event.

“People said that it was nice not to stand in line. They were able to relax at their table and let the food come to them,” said Stanton. “They were also very impressed on how polite our servers were.”

Around 7 p.m. Stanton said they surprised their guests by providing finger desserts from Koolini’s, which was not advertised in their promotion of the event.

“There was a lot of chocolate flowing,” joked Stanton.

Smoke and Spice Southern Barbecue once again provided the ribs and the entertainment provided by the Royal City Saxophone Quartet and ragtime pianist John Remmers.

“They were delightful,” said Stanton of the Quartet.

Stanton said the Royal City Saxophone Quartet walked amongst the crowd, playing music for each table. The arranger of the Quartets’ music travelled from Connecticut to hear the premier of the music they debuted at the event.

“They took the music to the people,” he said. “They went to the front where people couldn’t see the stage and played for them.”

Stanton also joked that he was glad that Smoke and Spice brought Styrofoam containers because people were having difficultly eating the portions they were given.

“People were getting two-thirds of a slab of rib,” he said. “People got the full chicken breast and not the half. People loved the food.”

Stanton believes that the Rib and Ragtime event has become a “truly premier event” and says people like the “garden” feeling the grounds provide.

“People are sitting at table-clothed tables in shade under canopies and they have live music that comes to them. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere,” explained Stanton. “Because we are limited how many people we can accommodate it has become an event people want to attend.”

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