SCUGOG: The Rotary Club of Port Perry gave Scugog Councillors an update on the success of their first annual Ribfest, as well as their vision for the 2017 event, at a meeting held on Monday, Oct. 17.
Arch Evans and club President Jim Brady presented the update. Coming in to the event, the club had a goal to raise $21,000, however, the three day event ended up collecting over $35,000.
From the final total, the club was able to present the Port Perry Hospital Foundation with their final $25,000 installment, of their $100,000 pledge for the hospital renovations. They also donated $8,342 to the Auxiliary to Lakeridge Health Port Perry.
At the meeting, the club also gave the Township a cheque for $4,122, repaying them for the costs of electrical upgrades in the park. The Township received the funds sooner than expected, as they had given the club five years to repay the loan.
Mr. Evans praised the use of Palmer Park for the event.
“The Palmer Park venue was superb. The waterfront and location is very unique, there is only one other Ribfest in Ontario that is held on the waterfront,” he said.
Mr. Brady said the only real issue they had was with the electricity in the park, but added, the club is going to be asking ribbers to bring their own generators next year.
He also touched on how the use of falcons to keep the seagulls out helped to improve the overall experience, for the over 21,000 reported attendees.
“The kids were enjoying the falcons, and the number of people that told us what a clean, clean Ribfest, they had never seen anything like it, so that was a two fold real super thing for us,” he said.
Mr. Brady also told Councillors, next year’s Ribfest will be held from Friday, Aug. 4th through to Sunday, Aug. 6th.
“We were looking at the possibility of doing a four-day Ribfest, but we just can’t handle it with the number of people and so on, that we’ve got, so we are going back to what is working,” he said.
The hours will basically be the same as 2016’s event, however, they will open at noon, on opening day Friday, instead of 4 p.m.
Mr. Brady said the club is also looking at how they can incorporate Canada’s 150th anniversary into the event.
There was some concern about the date of the event from organizers of the Caesarea Regatta, which annually falls on the same weekend. They were hoping the club could choose another date for the event, to avoid any conflict. Mr. Brady said, he had been in contact with Regatta officials, and stated they can’t change the date of the Ribfest. However he added, the club will help market the Regatta by distributing the brochures at the Ribfest.
Ward 1 Councillor Betty Somerville complimented the club on a successful first event.
“I just think you guys went over the top, it was the best Ribfest I have ever been at,” she said.