Kamloops' Ribfest has officially been cancelled this year, despite organizers' best efforts

No Ribfest for Kamloops

One of Kamloops' favourite events has decided to call things off for the second straight year.

Organizers announced Wednesday that Kamloops Ribfest will not be happening in 2021.

“It’s disappointing, though, I will tell you that the club had supported it and it was excited about forging ahead,” Bryce Herman, spokesperson for the annual event, told Castanet Kamloops.

“You know, a few weeks ago when we did a survey, and then that was like, 'Sorry, I think we've got to pull the plug anyway.'”

With COVID-19 cases in British Columbia rising to about 1,000 a day, Herman said the Rotary committee behind the event was unanimous in its decision and couldn’t justify setting up the event with such an uncertain future.

“We were exploring the opportunity of doing a drive thru event. We had great support from the city, the City of Kamloops was really good and very supportive,” Herman explained.

“So certainly no issues with that. But, of course, what happened is with the, you know, the last few events that have started to look at these variants going a little bit crazy. It put us in a position where we're going, ‘Gee, I wonder just where things are going to be by August.’”

While a drive-thru did seem possible at first, Herman said it just doesn’t seem to make sense from a financial perspective.

“Rotary has really struggled trying to find ways to generate dollars when we can't do events, which is really our mainstay,” he said.

“And so, with that struggle, we started looking at the drive-thru events. And at the end of the day, it was starting to look somewhat shaky, if at the end of the day, there was only going to be 1,000 people come through a three day event in August in a drive thru, no one was going to make any money.”

While the Ribfest is cancelled, the Rotary Club will be putting together a drive-thru Lobsterfest via the Columbo Lodge.

“It will run on May 8, tickets will go on sale for that event on April 12,” said Herman.

And as for Ribfest, Herman said this is not the end for it in Kamloops.

“Hang on, baby," he said. "We’re coming back in 2022.”

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