Orangeville Rotary Ribfest set for 9th annual extravaganza

July 13, 2018   ·   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 Pickford

The biggest party of the summer is almost upon us as the 9th annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest prepares to take over the community.

After celebrating what was a record-breaking year in 2017, where the organization raked in more than $82,000 over an incredible three-day period, the Rotary Club of Orangeville is preparing to do it all again from July 20 to 22 in an attempt to raise funds for a slew of local projects currently on the go.

Speaking to the Citizen last week, long-time Rotarian Scott Hughes mentioned Ribfest has now grown to such an extent that it supports “dozens” of initiatives each and every year. In 2017 alone, Rotary was able to carry out more than $12,000 worth of upgrades at the Orangeville Food Bank, while also writing cheques for $5,000 to support both Headwaters Health Care Centre and The Lighthouse in Orangeville. The organization also continued with its backing of the Grandpals program, initially developed at Montgomery Village Public School but now offered at several other local schools.

“I think, by now, people know all about what the Rotary Club of Orangeville and what we do in the community. Ribfest gives us the ability to do all of those wonderful things we’re known for,” Mr. Hughes said.

Once again taking over the soccer fields beside the Alder Street Recreation Centre, organizers are promising a bigger Ribfest than ever before. There will once again be six award-winning ribbers on hand to serve up delicious offerings of meat with Billy Bones BBQ, Gator BBQ and Brickyard BBQ returning to town. Local residents will have the chance to try out three brand new ribbers with Camp 31, The Hogfather BBQ and Silver Bullet BAR.B.Q coming on board in 2018.

And if the ribs aren’t enough to tempt you to come out, the list of musical acts performing over the course of the weekend is as impressive as any Mr. Hughes has seen in the event’s nine-year history.

Canadian rock band Tattoos ‘N Whiskey will headline Friday night, playing a three hour set between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., with the Campfire Poets once again getting the prime time Saturday slot. Local band Old School will close out Ribfest, playing from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Sunday. Other performers over the course of the weekend include Larry Kurtz, The Firecats, Wicked Truth and Dufferin County Line.

Always one of Ribfest’s most popular events, its classic car show returns on Saturday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., while the President’s Choice SuperDogs will return for four shows on the Sunday after wowing those in attendance with their tricks last year. There will be various other vendors on hand over the course of the weekend, while the popular midway also returns.

“We have three full days jam packed with everything you can think of,” Mr. Hughes said. “Sunday will be geared more towards families, but there’s something for everyone once again this year. I think we’ve found a recipe that works, that people enjoy, so you can expect to have a great time once again at Ribfest this year.”

Entry to the event is free, although the Rotary Club accepts donations at the gate. As always, once expenses are paid, any and all profits raised through the event are reinvested back into the community. This year the Rotary Club has “30 or so” projects it has committed to supporting, with big ticket items such as a new outdoor facility at HHCC for patients to use during nice weather, improvements to the Island Lake pavilion and a brand new natural playground on the agenda.

“That natural playground is a big deal because it’s the first time we’ve partnered with the Orangeville Lions Club on a project,” Mr. Hughes said.

He added, “We’re praying for beautiful weather once again over Ribfest weekend so that everyone can come out and have a great time.”

For more information on Ribfest, visit

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