Esquimalt residents — get ready for a finger-licking good time.
The third annual Esquimalt Ribfest is returning to Bullen Park in September.
This year’s event includes five ribbers — Prairie Smoke and Spice, Gator BBQ, Boss Hog’s, Misty Mountain, and Smoke & Bones.
“They should be full and their clothes are probably going to be covered in barbecue sauce,” laughed Rick Williams, logistics coordinator for Rib Fest. “We hope people will come away with, and they have, is thinking ‘that was a really neat day. We had ribs, we drank some beers, we had the kids around the table and we listened to music all day . . . What a nice day for the family’.”
Along with an assortment of ribs, there will also be beer and cider vendors.
The three-day, family-oriented event also includes performances by the Jason Buie Blues Band, Uncle Wigglys Blues Time, Tyler Harvey, CURL, Groove Kitchen and the Sutcliffes. There will be bubble soccer and a kids zone as well.
All the proceeds from the event go towards the Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation that will distribute the funds back into the community.
“We’re trying to fill a void in the community,” Williams said. “We’re going to help with putting together a project for an all weather playing field because Esquimalt doesn’t have one. Young athletes have to go out of the area to use the facilities in the rest of the townships and municipalities. We’re looking for programs that aren’t necessarily funded.”
Last year, roughly 20,000 people attended the event. This year, they’re expecting between 20,000 to 25,000 people. During the past two years, the event has donated $24,000 to the foundation.
“The whole municipality of Esquimalt smells like barbecue ribs so people want to check it out,” said Williams.
The event runs on Friday, Sept 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m at Bullen Park. It is by donation, but there is a charge for alcoholic beverages.