Rotary RibFest returning to Orangeville July 15-17

June 23, 2016   ·   0 Comments

For the seventh year in a row, the super popular Orangeville Rotary RibFest will be returning to the grounds behind the Alder Street Recreation Centre in Orangeville from July 15 to 17.

Organized by the Rotary Club of Orangeville, the event features a weekend of entertainment and of course the best ribs from award-winning experts who fire up the grill and deliver their tender fare covered in their own unique sauce.

Taking 10 months just to organize, the RibFest is now one of the biggest annual events in Orangeville with around 15,000 people expected to attend this year.

“It’s a free event, but we do ask for a donation as this is a fundraiser,” said Rotarian Don Voisey. “It’s a great community event. We raise funds for different Rotary projects like the Rotary Park and Fendley Park splash pad.

“The last six years were dedicated to building and paying off the splash pad. That was a $250,000 commitment and we paid that off a year early,” he said.

“This year we’ve chosen some smaller projects and project number one is GrandPals.”

GrandPals is a project in which elementary school students are paired with seniors in retirement homes for the purpose of writing a life book for the senior. Students are able to use a variety of skills they have learned in school while at the same time appreciating the life experiences of our elder residents. Seniors appreciate having new, younger friends, many of whom retain contact after the program has ended.

The Orangeville club is part of a larger district of 54 Rotary clubs that extends from Palgrave in the north to Burlington in the south. The District recently awarded Mr. Voisey its Builder Award for his contribution to projects in the region including the splash pad, the skateboard park, Family Transition Place, and the Orangeville Opera House renovation.

Rotarian Charles McCabe explained how the Rotary Club is always fundraising for projects in Orangeville.

“The GrandPals program started in Orangeville at a single school and now multiple schools within and outside of Orangeville want to use that program,” Mr. McCabe explained. “A lot of the money from RibFest is funding materials for that program. We are also using funds to pay for the Rotary Way Bike Route.”

Rotary Way includes Hansen Blvd, Amelia and Elizabeth Streets, and Second Avenue and is connected to schools and Island Lake. It is marked by blue signs and large green arrows painted right on the road.

It is the first of many bike routes in Orangeville with the goal of making us a more bike friendly community.

While the Rotary Club is an international organization, Club member Scott Hughes explained that projects are community based.

“We are always approached about future projects,” he said. “Rotary projects are always within the community,” he explained, saying Rotary endeavours to improve and enhance the quality of life in the town.

Orangeville Rotary RibFest will kick-off on Friday, July 15, with entertainment at the band shell and opening ceremonies at 6:00 p.m.

The band shell will have a continuous line-up of musical entertainment for the entire weekend.

Along with a midway for the kids, and those adults who like to think like a kid, there will be craft vendors with a huge assortment of interesting items for sale.                                                                             On Saturday (July 16) the Classic Car Show will get underway at 3:00 p.m. with hundreds of classic, vintage, and one of a-kind automobiles on display.

On Sunday, (July 17) animal lovers can see the Ultimutts dog agility show that features some highly trained canines. Three shows will take place on Sunday afternoon.                                                                         For those who like to wash down their ribs with a frosty libation, the beer tent will be open all weekend long.

The Rotary Club is still seeking volunteers for the event who will act as greeters, waste station personnel, and help with cleaning up the tables. This is a great opportunity for students who would like to top up their required volunteer hours.

You can find out more on-line at, or by making a volunteer inquiry by e-mailing   

The RibFest will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 15, 16, and 17, on the soccer fields behind Alder Street arena.

Written by Brian Lockhart

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