A’Burg Rotary’s Ribfest set for July 22-24

By Joel Charron

Mark your calendar and loosen your pants, the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest is making its return.

The 2nd Annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest is returning Centennial Park on July 22-24.

In it’s first year the much anticipated, mouthwatering event drew an estimated 9,500 people. This year, organizer Carl Gibb says the Rotary expects a lot more than that.

“We’re expecting 50 per cent more people this year,” said Gibb. “A lot of people didn’t know what it was all about last year. This year will be a lot different now that everyone has experienced it.”

Gibb said they are hoping to attract over 13,000 rib lovers.

The Ribfest will proceed rain or shine, however if people do need to hide from the rain the Rotary Club have a 40 foot by 80 foot and a 40 foot by 100 foot tent people can relax under.

Gibb mentioned that instead of five ribbers like there were last year, they’ve added one more. The ribbers are Billy Bones BBQ, Bibb’s BBQ, Horn Dawgs Smokin’ BBQ, Crabby’s BBQ, Ribs Royale BBQ and Camp 31.

There will also be other delightful editable treats such as, Bloomin’ Onion, corn on the cob, hamburgers and hotdogs.

According to Gibb there will also be 50 per cent more vendors including 2-3 dessert vendors to satisfy that sweet tooth after filling your belly full of tasty ribs.

Ribfest’s are gaining popularity in Ontario and Gibb says its because the family atmosphere that it provides.

“It’s the uniqueness of the whole event,” said Gibb. “The ribs are cooked on site that provide a little bit of country atmosphere.  The family thing is what really draws people there.”

With the success that the Rotary Ribfest experienced last year, Gibb feels that the sky is the limit with this event.

‘  I could see it get really big,” he said. “After the first year with 9,500 people, I was ecstatic. The word will spread and people will know that it is a great event to come to.”

Although Ribfest is ready to go, Gibb said the Rotary Club is in desperate need to volunteers.

“We need at least 300 volunteers to make this thing happen,” said Gibb.

Gibb mentioned that volunteers with Smart Serve would be ideal, however, anyone can lend a hand.  Volunteers will assist with everything from clean up to greeting and barbecuing to taking head counts.

‘There is an endless line of people that we need,” explained Gibb.

Anyone looking to volunteer should contact Vicki Ross at Vicross@cdpwise.net or call 519-726-5535.

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