SCUGOG: The Rotary Club of Port Perry will be hosting their very first Ribfest this summer.
The event was approved by Scugog Council at their committees meeting on Monday, April 4. The festival will take place along Port Perry’s waterfront from Friday, July 29 until Sunday, July 31. Five ribbers will be set up in Palmer Park, close to Lake Scugog. There will be picnic tables and other vendors set up at the North baseball diamond of Joe Fowler Park, next to Palmer Park. The Joe Fowler parking lot on Water St. will be used as a carnival and kids zone, which will including a midway. The playground and splash pad will remain open to the public throughout the festival. The Palmer Park parking lot will be used for registration, and a wash area. There will also be a licensed alcoholic beverage area.
All of the funds raised will be used to help the club’s $25,000 contribution to the Port Perry Hospital renovation fund.
“This is going to be the biggest event that we have done,” Jim Brady, President elect of the Rotary Club, told council.
During the event, Water St., from Queen St. to Casimir St. will be closed. On Saturday, July 30 the farmers market will be moved from its regular location at the Palmer Park lot to Water St.
There will be five live music bands on July 30 and July 31, with headliners performing from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Rotarian Dave Cash said that this event is meant to take over from another fundraiser they have held for many years, known as Aquarama.
“Aquarama, although it was a great event, it wasn’t enjoying the amount of support that we had hoped over the years and Rotary Ribfests are very popular. There is a number of them running in the Durham Region,” he told council.
Mr. Cash added that they are expecting to have about 15,000 people attend, but Mayor Tom Rowett thinks the total could be a lot higher.
“Based on the success of these events elsewhere in the province, it could be much larger than 15,000 people,” he said. “I think this will help with economic development in the community.”
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew said that she has never been to a Ribfest, and questioned how the event will raise funds other than from the licensed beverage area.
“We do have sponsorships that we are collecting now, which are helping to cover fixed costs with holding the event and we are also asking for donations at the door,” Mr. Cash answered. “Other Rotary clubs have found that people are really generous when they come to these types of events. For some of our other costs, we are hoping to have in kind contributions from our partners.”
Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido questioned whether or not the club has spoken with the Port Perry Marina.
“They are quite supportive of the event,” Mr. Cash responded. “I’m expecting that John (Mackey) might even have a promotion running as well.”
The Rotary Club also asked the Township to contact Durham Region Transit about the possibility of using their shuttle buses for the event.
Interim CAO Don Gordon said that another option for transportation could be using a yellow school bus company.
The club is looking for volunteers for the event. To become a volunteer, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To sponsor the event, e-mail email@example.com. For more information, go to portperryribfest.ca.