Ribfest returns to Penticton in a new location with plenty of hungry visitors

A big return for Ribfest

Casey Richardson

Canada Day long weekend kicked off on Friday with the return of one of the meatiest events in Penticton —Ribfest.

This year the event takes place in Skaha Lake Park. Five different champion barbecue teams from across North America will be cooking up a storm all weekend.

"We've had three years to plan which was lovely because we're in a completely different venue," Sandra Krauer, Chair of the Kid’s Zone & Entertainment for Ribfest said. "I can't believe the energy. It's been a really positive experience. Everybody is so supportive in Penticton."

"It is awesome to finally have it back," Barb Hoolaeff, Chairperson of Ribfest added. "We actually do have a bigger space here. Even though people seem to think it's a small park, it's a huge park, with lots of room for expansion."

Admission to the Ribfest grounds is free and purchasing a voucher gets you a meal — your choice of the classic ribs, brisket, or pulled pork. There are also vegan options with a vegetarian wrap or a jackfruit gyro from Angry Vegan.

Funds raised from Ribfest go toward all of the local Rotary's community and charitable initiatives.

"This is a great tourism draw. But even more than that it helps the Rotary club raise funds for the community. Most of the money that Rotary brings in stays in the community," Hoolaeff said.

Each day has different events and entertainers hitting the stage. The grounds include a KidZone, a family-friendly beverage garden, and plenty of vendors to check out.

Friday hosted a media sauce competition, where local media outlets and businesses, including Castanet, submitted their own barbecue sauce concoctions in the hope of being judged supreme. Global Okanagan took home the trophy this year!

The ribs will be judged on Sunday, and awards, including the People's Choice, Best Ribs and Best Sauce, will be presented afterwards to the ribbers.

Penticton Rotary Ribfest runs until Sunday, July 3 at Skaha Lake Park.

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