ribs

Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest draws over 13,500 people

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest was held over the weekend with a strong crowd of 13,513 people in attendance.

The three-day event took place in Centennial Park with four ribbers – Ribs Royale, Memphis Blazin’ BBQ, Dinosaur BBQ Pit and Texas Rangers – and a variety of craft vendors, children’s activities and other food and drink vendors participating.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

“Except for Friday night when we had to evacuate everyone for safety reasons (due to a storm), it’s been a great weekend,” said Carl Gibb, an Amherstburg Rotarian and chair of the Rotary’s Ribfest committee. “The support from the community, as always, has been fantastic.”

Gibb noted the variety of food and crafts and “everyone seems happy.”

“Overall, it was a great weekend,” added Amherstburg Rotary Club president Laura George. “The attendees we had came and enjoyed the ribs. We definitely thank everyone for coming out because without them, the Rotary Club and Ribfest committee couldn’t have pulled off this weekend.”

Gibb and George thanked the committee, the volunteers, sponsors and all who participated in the three-day event. They also thanked the town of Amherstburg for waiving the fees to use Centennial Park and the equipment and for relaxing restrictions on the sign bylaw to help them promote the Ribfest.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

“It’s nice to know that, in the end, they know the value of what this festival brings to town and that they know the work of the Rotary Club,” said George.

The Ribfest was up against two other events in the area – including the Fork & Cork in Windsor and the Essex Fun Fest – but the Amherstburg event still managed to draw a strong crowd.

“It says a lot about the town of Amherstburg,” said George.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

George acknowledged the break-in that occurred to the grounds early Saturday morning that saw items stolen from several vendors. She said they are working with the Amherstburg Police Service to resolve the matter and extra security was brought on board for the next night.

Gibb pointed out they put all proceeds back into the Amherstburg community. He noted such Rotary projects as the fully accessible playground at Toddy Jones Park, the Miracle League field at the Libro Centre and the acquisition of 600 carbon monoxide detectors that will go into those in the homes of vulnerable residents. The latter project is in conjunction with Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Fire Department.

The Memphis Blazin’ BBQ was the only ribber that hadn’t been to Amherstburg before but they liked what they saw.

The band Moondog Howlers perform Saturday night at the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest.

The band Moondog Howlers perform Saturday night at the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest.

“I’m loving it,” said Matthew Kershaw, as he prepared ribs Friday night. “This town is awesome.”

Those who attended enjoyed it as well, with people from Windsor-Essex County and beyond coming to Amherstburg.

“It was nice. I enjoyed it,” said Bernadette Kuzniak of Belle River. “The ribs were good and so was the sauce.

Kuzniak attended with her husband Norm and it was their first time to the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest after moving back to the area from Waterloo.

“The music is not too bad,” added Norm.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone sinks  his teeth into some of the ribs during judging held July 9.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone sinks his teeth into some of the ribs during judging held July 9.

Kevin Girard and Kait Fox of Tecumseh also enjoyed themselves.

“We love it,” said Girard. “Our stomachs are full and our fingers are sticky.”
Fox added they were at the Ribfest several years ago and said they plan on coming back.

The Ribfest also drew people from a family reunion, including those from Sugar Grove, Illinois and Jackson, Mississippi.

Arthur Davis, from Jackson, said they stopped in as they were driving back to the United States and wanted to try the Ribfest. Sharon Phillips added they found people in town to be “very friendly” and they gave the experience “two thumbs up.”

“It’s been a beautiful experience,” she said.

Roughly 200 people attend “Ribs & Ragtime” at Amherstburg Freedom Museum

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum presented the annual “Ribs & Ragtime” event Saturday night with a large crowd there to enjoy the evening.

Approximately 200 people sat under tents in the front of the museum and enjoyed ribs, chicken and the music of the band “Straight Ahead.” Monty Logan, president of the museum’s board of directors, was happy with the sunny sky and warm temperature the event enjoyed.

“It’s a beautiful day,” he said. “It’s awesome.”

The Detroit-based band “Straight Ahead” performed again this year at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum’s “Ribs & Ragtime” fundraising event. It was the first event in a busy season for the museum.

The Detroit-based band “Straight Ahead” performed again this year at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum’s “Ribs & Ragtime” fundraising event. It was the first event in a busy season for the museum.

Logan added recent construction work in front of the museum was finished with that being covered by a recent Ontario150 grant.

“The courtyard is complete just in time for Ribs & Ragtime,” commented Logan. “We’re glad to see everyone here having a great time.”

The event is one of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum’s largest fundraisers, raising about $5,000 annually for the museum.

Darryl Hogan, the museum’s vice president, also pointed out that “we’re so lucky to have great weather.”

Hogan said that “friends, family and friends of the museum” turned out Saturday evening.

“It’s great to see people from the community come out and support us,” said Hogan. “We want to become a more significant part of Amherstburg.”

The band “Straight Ahead” came from Detroit again this year with Hogan stating organizers went with that band again because of how popular they were from previous Ribs & Ragtime events.

Those who attended Ribs & Ragtime, including this table, had a good time Saturday night.

Those who attended Ribs & Ragtime, including this table, had a good time Saturday night.

“The summer is very busy for us,” Hogan added, noting the Emancipation Gala and the Walter Perry Emancipation Golf Classic are also on the horizon. The latter events are Aug. 4 and 5 respectively.

“This year, we’re hoping to get our (Amherstburg Freedom) summit up and running,” he added.

Hogan thanked the town for its support as well as those who came in from elsewhere to support the museum.

For more information on the Amherstburg Freedom Museum and its events, call 519-736-5433 or 1-800-713-6336 or visit www.amherstburgfreedom.org. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmherstburgFreedom or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Aburgfreedom.

Mission takes home top prize in K of C rib cookoff

 

By Jonathan Martin

Amherstburg’s Knights of Columbus hall has kept the rainy weather at bay with the taste of a sunny day.

The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, where five pig-loving cooks battled it out for a swine-topped trophy and around 150 people won themselves full stomachs.

The candidates cooked for the judges, while the audience was fed by K of C kitchen staff and volunteers.

Organizer Ron Fryer said the night’s proceeds are going towards repainting the building. He wasn’t able to give a dollar value, but said the night was all in good fun anyway. He said it was a chance for the community to come together and share some good food.

Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall "Ted's Team" volunteer Lisa Norris prepares food in the K of C kitchen in Amherstburg.  The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister winning the night. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall “Ted’s Team” volunteer Lisa Norris prepares food in the K of C kitchen in Amherstburg. The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister winning the night. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

“Aside from (Amherstburg) mayor Aldo DiCarlo and my son (Ryan Fryer),” he said. “The judges were all picked straight from the audience.”

The lucky audience members were Tania Fryer, Brad Reaume and River Town Times editor Ron Giofu. The five judges got to get saucy with five different cooks’ offerings, but finally whittled it down to the top three.

Tim DeHetre walked away with third place, Scott Thon earned second and Tim McAllister went home with bragging rights.

“I’m the president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission,” McAllister explained when asked how he achieved his level of thoracic tastiness. “Lots of people taste my food and they tell me what works and what doesn’t.”

He said cooking is his passion, and it’s one he loves to share. Whenever he works with someone new in the kitchen, McAllister said he picks up a few tips and tricks and adds them to his repertoire.

When asked what those tips and tricks are, he smiled a saucy smile and said, “This is my second win. If I told you, I might not get a third.”