DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: It’s the Father’s Day gift the community has been waiting for, and Ribfest will be returning to Uxbridge in June 2024.
Appearing before council at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Oct. 23rd, Rick Brooks of the BWG Event Group laid out the basic framework for the event, which is slated to run from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16, 2024 in Elgin Park.
As Mr. Brooks explained at the outset of his presentation, plans were underway in 2019 to bring the popular event back to Elgin Park in 2020 before it was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited to bring this event back to the community,” added Mr. Brooks. “We have heard from a lot of residents that they have been missing it since it was last held in 2016 and they have ventured out to surrounding towns such as Stouffville, Peterborough and Port Perry. But, we’re thrilled for residents and visitors alike to be able to bring the event back to beautiful Elgin Park.”
As Mr. Brooks explained, BWG is a not-for-profit organization that has successfully staged Ribfest events in several communities including Alliston, Innisfil, Owen Sound, and recently added the Toronto event to its portfolio. Part of the mandate for BWG is to raise funds for local causes, and he was delighted that the beneficiary organization for Uxbridge Ribfest 2024 will be the Oak Ridges Hospice.
Replying to a question from Ward 4 Councillor Willie Popp regarding the funding that is directed back to the beneficiary organization, Mr. Brooks replied that past events have given 25 per cent of proceeds from admission to the event, with further opportunities available for community groups to be involved with the event.
“The main goal of Ribfest is to give back to the community, and there will be an opportunity for (Oak Ridges Hospice) to raise even more money with a booth at our event. We’ll also be reaching out to the fire department and other groups in the community that want to utilize Ribfest to promote their fundraisers, initiatives and groups as well,” added Mr. Brooks.
Regional Councillor Bruce Garrod was enthusiastic about the return of the event, but did note his desire to have the new playground outside of the fenced area for Ribfest to allow all families the opportunity to enjoy the park on Father’s Day weekend. As well, Councillor Garrod requested that organizers work with the the township to cover any potential clean-up costs.
“I would look for our parks department to have some sort of a retainer to make sure that after you’ve left the site, if there’s any damage that needs to be taken care of that we not put that on the shoulders of taxpayers,” commented Councillor Garrod.
Councillor Popp made the motion, which passed with unanimous approval from counci to support Ribfest in principle, and directed organizers to work with township staff in regards to layout, logistics, costing, clean-up etc., for the event.