Leroy Toalson, left, of Louisiana, accepts a beef brisket sample from cooker Nathan Brown during the first Ribs on the River Festival in Louisiana June 21 and 22. There were 27 master competitors and five amateurs vying for $10,000 in prizes. In addition to samples and the competition, there was a bourbon tasting, the Stark Brothers Nurseries fruit pie contest and music by the groups Black Suede, Garden Party and Butch Wax and the Hollywoods. The events, combined with the 27th Show Me Missouri State Chili Cook-Off sponsored by the Raintree Arts Council, drew large crowds to the riverfront despite rainy weather.