Downtown Akron will heat up this week as some of the top cooks light up their grills for this year's Rib, White and Blue Festival.
Rib vendors will be vying for cash prizes and bragging rights during the three-day festival.
Solomon Williams, owner of Carolina Rib King in South Carolina, said he's ready to claim his fifth straight title at the festival with his sweet and savory combo.
"I've got a combination of a little heat and a lot of sweet. So, it comes together," said Williams.
Williams has been perfecting his recipe for about 20 years and hopes he can give visitors a taste of his hometown.
"I'm happy and I really enjoy it. I turned a hobby into a profession."
Williams said his famous ribs earned the him an appearance on the TLC's television series "BBQ Pit Masters."
Pat Nelson, owner of Big Boned Barbecue in Tennessee, said his secret to success is his barbecue rub made with 36 different spices.
"It's just dry rub ribs," said Nelson. "And (Big Boned Barbeque) just lets the seasoning and the ribs speak for itself."
Bridget Gibson, owner of Bg's Main Event in Rittman, is new to the festival. She's showcasing her old-fashioned recipe in hopes of bringing home some bragging rights.
"They're good. They're really good." said Gibson. "I came here last year and I tasted every rib in here. i still feel that ours are the best."
The festival opens each day at 11 a.m. On July 4th, visitors can check out the Akron Symphony Orchestra followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
You can find the full list of events on www.akronribfestival.org.