2019 CultureFest & Rib Cook-off Lineup

March 18, 2019

Public Information Officer


From medals to grill raffle and rib contestant opportunities, event dates, hours and content being finalized to successfully optimize eventgoer destination experiences for individuals, families and groups during the April 25 event

The 2019 St. Philip's College CultureFest and Rib Cook-off project was announced today with a focus on education, fun and opportunities for community engagement. The 2019 event medal has been designed and the event with free admission and convenient parking is confirmed for April 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college’s 1801 Martin Luther King Drive location. In addition to ribs, the program includes the Rib Row competition area, high-performance auto dyno pulls that draw throngs, and an open house that has grown to a projected 1,000-plus guests. While parking and admission are both free, a bevy of food and non-food items are available for sale. In coming weeks, rib contestants will be able to register online at the same online space reserved for food and non-food vendors. 

Returning to 2019 CultureFest for musical excitement and excellence is a certified community favorite. The 32-member Sam Houston Hurricane Marching Band made its CultureFest debut in 2017, thrilled the CultureFest crowd in 2018 and will return for 2019. Music lovers will be in for a treat when the rest of the musical lineup for 2019 CultureFest is also announced online in coming weeks, with admission-free live entertainment stages that will brim with music. Since the band first appeared at CultureFest, St. Philip's College has been announced as the college education partner with industry and San Antonio Independent School District in the upcoming St. Philip's College Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Cybersecurity Specialist degree in San Antonio's historic first Pathways in Technology Early College High School, known as P-TECH at Sam Houston High School. The program connects SAISD students at the Cyber P-TECH at Sam Houston High School with degreed education, National Security Agency credentials and practical industry experience that leads to employment, responsibility and status within San Antonio which is the hub of the Western Hemisphere's second largest cybersecurity sector.  

The Open House is a successful reboot of a program the college operated to perfection many decades ago, and was an education success story when re-introduced in 2016, with 600 high school students attending. With 1,000-plus students attending in 2017 and roughly the same umber in 2018, organizers envision a similar number visiting the campus for CultureFest 2019 to learn about educational opportunities before following up with a few minutes of ribs and fun in a family-friendly environment.

Organizers announced they expect the perennially popular open house auto technology displays to include many exotic cars, at least three dyno pulls and possibly a few air bag deployment demos that guests should keep an eye out for throughout the day.

Sean Smith is a college automotive technology alumnus and faculty member with deep CultureFest and Open House experience.

“The dyno is the training aid we use to help students measure horsepower and torque to the wheels... a measurement of how much power a vehicle can generate and how fast it can go,” Smith explained. “It’s more of a diagnostic tool that all allows us to simulate driving down the road. It’s not too safe to diagnose a misfiring car at 55 miles per hour, so we put the car under a 50 mile per hour load as we perform tuning, performance tests, and upgrades… That’s its primary training aid use right now. It’s a working training aid used every semester,” Smith said.

There’s more to the allure of the dyno to potential college-level auto technicians than meets the ear and eye in the region’s auto technology education center, Smith shared.

“I think the biggest thing is we put cool cars up there. They look cool and make a whole bunch of noise---cool car and big noisemaker---that attracts people in a hurry. Noise equals power in the consumer's perception. People want to see this,” said Smith.

“As for the air bags--the air bags are loud and look cool,” said Smith. “They are a dangerous thing; they engage and come out in milliseconds. Each demonstration is a demonstration of how dangerous they can be---but they are a lifesaving tool, in conjunction with seat belts of course. There’s a preventive education element there at the same time whenever we demonstrate that, absolutely. People come away believing,” said Smith. 

“We're going to have different cars at CultureFest each year,” Smith said of the automotive display lineup that can range from vintage classics to a current-model Ferrari or two.

“We will display what we have to offer as a program during our part of the open house,” Smith explained. “Ninety percent of our instructors are master techs with real-world experience and a shop that has the state-of-the-art equipment that experts have. In my eyes, there is no better program,” Smith said.

For details on all events, contact Dr. Angela McPherson Williams, the college’s director of student success, at 210-486-2135 or visit the CultureFest web page http://www.alamo.edu/spc/CultureFest/, and look for city street banners celebrating the community event citywide in coming weeks.

CAPTION: Archival images of St. Philip's College students and community partners giving back at the CultureFest and Rib Cook-off are a reminder that the 2019 version of the event is April 25. (Images courtesy SPC)