Sandi Best and Dino Fiorin with the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights committee pose with a 1939 Ford to help promote Cars

Ribs, riffs and rides coming to Esquimalt

Esquimalt getting set for big weekend at Bullen Park

Make no mistake: Ribbing is serious business.

While rib festivals have become mainstay summer attractions in Kamloops, cities in southern Ontario and countless U.S. states, Vancouver Islanders haven’t had a chance to experience the smokey barbecue celebration closer to home – until now.

The inaugural Esquimalt Ribfest kicks off at Bullen Field this weekend (Sept. 13 to 15), where ribbers from as far away as Albuquerque, New Mexico will compete for top accolades from an anticipated crowd of 10,000 people.

“This will put Esquimalt on the map,” said Murray Boyce, organizer of the free car show taking place in conjunction with Ribfest. “Next year it will just be so big.”

Cars, Rods & Rides, benefitting the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights, runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. behind Archie Browning Sports Centre on the Saturday (Sept. 14).

Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for CFAX Santas Anonymous.

Across the way, Bullen Field will be buzzing with live music, a craft beer garden, kids’ zone and even a youth rugby combine, put on by Rugby Canada athletes, during Ribfest.

“We’re hoping to offer sponsorship to national athletes out of this and help support the Esquimalt High rugby academy (opening) next year,” says Teresa Mitrou,  who along with local firefighter Tom Woods is organizing Ribfest.

Independent of Ribfest and other charity fundraising efforts, the weekend in Esquimalt also includes a concert by classic rock bands Bad Company and Chilliwack, who will light up Bullen Field on Sunday night (Tickets start at $79.50).

“It’s a great capstone to the weekend,” Mitrou says.

Boyce and Mitrou warn that parking will be tight all weekend. They encourage attendees to walk, cycle or take the bus.

Ribfest runs Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For a full schedule of events and ribbers, visit For more information or to participate in the car show, visit

Just Posted

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

A report put forward by the Downtown Victoria Business Association asked owners for input

Pair of Saanich fires, including one that resulted in a death, remain under investigation

Saanich Fire expect to wrap up investigation into Richmond Road Tuesday

Wind gusts turn away cruise ships from Victoria harbour

Weather conditions make docking difficult for large ships

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read