Those attending the 23rd annual Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival may recognize some familiar faces.

Among the scheduled music entertainment is Red Sun Rising, which will perform at the annual Memorial Day weekend festival on May 25.

Mike Protich, who sings and plays guitar for Red Sun Rising, said the band recently wrapped up a tour.

"We actually just finished a long tour down the East Coast and through the South that was very successful and put together independently by us," said Protich, who lived in Tallmadge and is a Tallmadge High School alum. He currently lives in Akron. "We now are ready to play some festival type shows throughout the summer and begin to work on new music. Not a new album per se, but new music. We have not decided exactly how we want to release the new material. We may do small EPs or just release the songs as we finish them. But an album is time consuming, hype dies quickly and keeps us off the road. We love being on the road, so between finishing songs, you will see us booking at least regional dates during the next few months."

The other band members include Ryan Williams on guitar, Tyler Valendza on guitar, Mark Matthews on bass and Adam Mercer on drums, all from Akron.

This is not the first time Red Sun Rising has played at the rib cook-off, Protich said.

"We played with Collective Soul on the MainStage and then headlined the second stage twice in past years," he said.

Protich said that the band is at its best when performing live.

"We have been told our recording does not do us justice and we are a must see live type of band, which we love and take pride in," he said.

Red Sun Rising aims to do more touring in the near future, among other goals, Protich said.

"We have recently joined forces with a new management team," he said. "We are laying the ground work for bigger and better tours as support of a national . We also plan to hit radio on a national if not international scale and see what the public really thinks of Red Sun Rising.

"As far as the band members ourselves, we hope to be on the road making and performing music and be financially stable enough to do so in the very near future," Protich said. "We are not aiming to be rich. We want to just live comfortably and do what we love."

Rib Cook-Off information

The 23rd Annual Memorial Day Weekend BBQ Bash will run May 23 through 26 at Jacobs Pavilion and the Nautica Entertainment Complex.

Parking is available at various surrounding lots on both the East and West Bank of the Flats. The swing bridge that connects the East Bank and West Bank is open, making it convenient to park in the adjacent lots near the Settler's Landing RTA Waterfront Line.

Once again, RTA will be offering "Rib Lovers" free rides on all RTA Rapid Transit Rail Lines, courtesy of Live Nation, Jacobs Entertainment and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

Patrons can park for free at any RTA Rapid Station and then hop aboard the Red, Blue or Green Line for the ride downtown. From there, it's a quick trip on the Waterfront Line to the Settlers Landing Station where it's a short walk to the Rib Cook-Off entrance. RTA rail service will be extended all weekend long to match the hours of the Rib Cook-Off.

Adult general admission is $8, with discounts available. Children under 12 are admitted free, and entertainment is free with a paid general admission ticket.

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Phone: 330-541-9438