Popular Orangeville Rotary Ribfest returning for drive-thru event

July 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The 8th Annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest took over Alder Street this past weekend. The event recorded mpre than 20,000 visitors over the course of the three days.

By Mike Baker

The 11th annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest has been resurrected, albeit in a much-changed, COVID-19 enforced format. 

The weekend long event, originally slated to take place from July 16 to 18, was cancelled back in March at the height of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Although local residents won’t be able to enjoy all that Ribfest usually offers in Orangeville, they will get a small taste after the local Rotary club had a change of heart and decided to bring the event back as a drive-thru only affair. 

“This is a really good way, we feel, for us to try and raise a little bit of money, while also doing something good and fun for the community,” said Taunya Bailey, the brand new President of the Orangeville Rotary Club. “We as a club, pretty much like everyone else, don’t have much going on right now, so we thought outside the box and decided to do what we can (to bring Ribfest back to the community).”

The Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfest will take place next week – July 17 and 18. Billy’s World Famous BBQ and Gator BBQ will be on hand selling their delicious ribs, with local residents able to place their orders between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Friday, and from noon to 8 p.m. on the Saturday. The event will take place at Headwaters Racquet Club. People will be expected to line up, in their cars, until they are able to place their order. 

Adding a bit of entertainment value to the event, The Campfire Poets will be hosting a virtual concert between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday. Local residents will be able to watch the live streamed performance on Facebook and YouTube. 

One of the primary reasons the Rotary club hosts Ribfest each and every year is to raise funds for its community programs and projects. Recently, proceeds raised through the popular event have gone towards constructing the splashpad at Fendley Park, building a new natural playground at Island Lake Conservation Area, purchasing a gazebo for Headwaters Health Care Centre, and supporting the GrandPals program, which runs at several elementary schools in the community.

This year, Rotary will be doing things a little differently, by donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised to Headwaters hospital. 

“We’re certainly not anticipating what we’ve seen come in from Ribfest in recent years. We raised in excess of $75,000 last year. I think this year we’ll be very, very happy if we raise $10,000,” said local Rotarian Ingrid Sproxton. “We’re viewing this as a win, win, win right now. The hospital is in need of funds because of COVID-19, it’s a win for us because we’re able to get back out into our community and, and it’s a win for our residents too.”

There will be donation buckets lined along the trail at Headwaters Racquet Club on both nights. There will also be an opportunity to donate online while tuning into the virtual concert. 

“Even though this won’t quite be the same Ribfest as it always is, we’re excited about it. We’re excited to be giving back to the community, and be providing the town with some entertainment,” Ms. Bailey said. “By bringing Ribfest back, having some great ribbers come to town, hopefully we can recreate the spirit of Ribfest weekend, and give people the chance to eat some great food and make them feel like they’re having a regular time again.”

For more information about the Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfest, visit 


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