Happy Harry’s Ribfest 2023

JUNE 07-10, 2023


Tune into your most primal instincts while you gnaw the meat off a rib bone to the tune of country music.

Four days of meat slathered in barbecue sauce against a backdrop of country-ish music — that’s what you’re in for with Happy Harry’s Ribfest. It’s hard to be unhappy, or, at the very least, hungry, at a festival like this. 

Happy Harry’s Ribfest is held in Fargo, North Dakota, but it has “rib cookers” from all over the nation. Some of the most notable include Aussom Aussie’s BBQ, run by Australia’s “most accomplished BBQ chef” who operates out of Pittsburgh, and has won over 200 awards for deliciously cooked meats. Also on the lineup: Cowboy’s BBQ & Rib Co., a nationally recognized barbecue competition team that has scored over 450 national titles, and meat connoisseurs from Texas, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina and more

As tradition mandates, there must be music at a barbecue, so the festival has scheduled a lineup of country and country adjacent artists to play every night. On Thursday, you’ll hear from Jimmie Allen, the soulful singer-songwriter of country music. On Saturday, Lit hits the stage — the 1990s Orange County-based pop punk band famous for their hit song, “My Own Worst Enemy.” Other bands include pop country boy band Parmalee and Pennsylvania rockers Fuel. 

As goes with these things, alcohol will be offered. There will be lots of men in cut off t-shirts who are obsessed with grilling and bouncy houses for children placed haphazardly around parking lots to entertain children while the parents get meat drunk.

The Specs 

  • In 2022, over 41,000 people attended over the course of the four days.
  • Tickets: It only costs five dollars at the gate. Parking will cost you another five dollars.
  • If you’re just visiting, check out this “Best of the U.S.” guide to North Dakota.

Here’s a video of the festival taken earlier in the day before the crowds had arrived:

#happyharrysribfest on TikTok

BY Ayla Burnett