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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Most Read