PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The 2015 Kickoff and Rib Festival at Heinz Field is one of the many things going on in town this busy, end-of-summer holiday weekend; and besides the food, there’s all kinds of fun things for the whole family.

The smells draw you in, you can’t help it, it’s like a magnetic pull.

“The meat, the tenderness of the meat, and the sauce is what makes a perfect rib,” says Andrea Drumgoole, of Houston, Pa.

The banners and trophies that decorate the ribbers are a testament to the pride oozing from the pores of those slopping on the sauce.

“Four hours in the smoker, sauce, dry rub; these are the best,” says Brad Carty, of Bad Wolf BBQ.

“You have to have good sauce, or you can’t have good ribs,” adds Corey Gunter, of Pittsburgh’s own Badazz Barbecue.

And, those who come to try the food say there’s a science to it.

“I’ve learned coming to these things, don’t go to the first one you see check them all out,” says Greg Mowry.

But ribs are only the appetizer for a weekend of Rib Fest entertainment featuring The Clarks Friday at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, Pitt kicks off its football season with Youngstown State, immediately followed by more ribs and Pittsburgh’s own Chris Jamison

The music Saturday night outside Gate A is headlined by Chris Cagle.

Bright and early Sunday morning, it’s the Steelers 5K. The ribs will sizzle starting at noon with the entertainment capped off by Craig Morgan

And the Rib Fest rolls through Labor Day with a concert by Eric Paslay. Click here for more information on all the Rib Fest activities.

Speaking of Labor Day, the end-of-summer weekend here in Pittsburgh has become synonymous with our huge parade. This year, it will feature Vice President Joe Biden.

He marched in it back in 2009 as well.

The parade will step off at 10 a.m. Monday, head up Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies and on to Stanwix Street.

In addition to the Pitt Panthers’ season opener at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds will also be in action at Highmark Stadium Saturday night.

The smooth sounds of Etta Cox will fill Highland Park for a free concert Sunday at 5 p.m.

Also, Rusted Root hits the stage at Hartwood Acres around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter