UXBRIDGE: Get your napkins ready, because Ribfest will be returning to Elgin Park this weekend for three days of great food and fun for the community.
For organizer Steve Harrison, Ribfest is truly a labour of love, and he is looking forward to another great year for the event, since that is what keeps him coming back year-after-year to stage the event.
"I just love doing it for the people who can come and enjoy a day of laughter and fun," Mr. Harrison told The Standard. "Hopefully, we will be blessed with great weather and can do even better than last year, which was already fantastic. Organizing the event is like a jigsaw puzzle, and it all comes together beautifully."
Uxbridge Ribfest opens for business on Friday, July 19 at 11 a.m. and runs until 11 p.m., On Saturday, July 20, the gates will again open at 11 a.m. and remain open until 11 p.m., finally, on Sunday, July 21 gates open at 11 a.m. with the event coming to a close at 7 p.m.
The Standard will also be on hand at Ribfest handing out bibs to keep those in attendance neat and tidy.
There will be plenty of dining options at the event as five ribbers - Camp 31, Chop Shop, Horn Dawgs BBQ, Texas Rangers and Sticky Fingers - are expected to take part in the event.
And, as Mr. Harrison notes, these are not your typical backyard barbecue ribs.
"These guys are real professionally trained chefs, and they really know what they're doing," Mr. Harrison said. "One vendor even has a vegetarian option, so there really
is something for everyone."
In addition to great food, there will also be great fun in store for Ribfest patrons as the midway returns, as well as a dynamic lineup of acts to entertain those in attendance, including several local performers on the bandshell stage. Julien Kelland, Brett Kingswell, Robyn Ottolini, Alli Walker and The Little White Lies are just a few of the acts slated to perform at Ribfest.
"We try and keep the acts as local as possible and they are so talented. We are really blessed to have these great people to perform at Ribfest and excited to share their talents with the community," added Mr. Harrison. "There's got to be an atmosphere to the event, not just great food, but amazingly talented acts on stage as well. People can come and relax and have a great day in the park."
Ribfest organizers remain committed to the community as a whole, and will be providing funds to various community groups, including Canadian Tire Jumpstart, Bonner Boys, Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario, 1st Port Perry Scouts, Foster Memorial and Teen Start from revenues at the event.
"Giving back to these community groups is truly what it's all about for me," Mr. Harrison commented. "We need to give back and share the wealth."
The competition amongst the ribbers for the various awards handed out is always fierce, and this year they will be competing for a special award at Uxbridge Ribfest - the Best Ribs Dave Kasza Award.
Mr. Kasza, a longtime Legion member who spearheaded bringing Ribfest to Uxbridge, passed away last year, and organizers saw fit to memorialize him with this special award.
"Last year, I had the pleasure of working with Dave Kasza and it's always fun to see the gamesmanship at play amongst the ribbers for the awards that are handed out," said Mr. Harrison.
Ribfest marks the start of a busy stretch at Elgin Park, as the Highlands of Durham Games are set to take place the following weekend. Attendees can get a head start on the celebration of all things Celtic at Ribfest as $15 single day tickets and $25 weekend passes will be on sale throughout the weekend.
Your ticket to Highland Games will also provide entry into a draw for many great prizes including a trip to Scotland, an iPad, a camera, a barbecue courtesy of Canadian Tire, Body Fit memberships, Celtic Life magazine subscriptions and more. Weekend passes are also now available at Canadian Tire Uxbridge.
Through the hard work of many, events such as Ribfest are able to take place, and Mr. Harrison is grateful to have such great community partners assisting with the event, including Pace Credit Union, located at 99 Brock St. West in downtown Uxbridge.
"Pace Credit Union has been so good to us right from the very beginning, and they deserve a huge thank you for all that they do to help stage our events," added Mr. Harrison.