They came from Virginia, Texas and across the county to compete for the honor of best ribs.
Wednesday marked the first day of the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off at Victorian Square in Sparks.
An official says half a million people are expected to attend, and perhaps more than 100 tons of ribs served up.
Those making the best ribs will receive trophies and cash prizes. The top prize is $7,500.
The event continues through September 3rd. For more information, visit http://www.nuggetribcookoff.com.