Get out the forks, knives, and definitely some napkins: This weekend, RibFest returns to Langley for a second year of barbecue sauce-dripping, fall-off-the-bone meat.
For three days, from Aug. 16 to 18 at McLeod Athletic Park (56 Ave & 216 Street), four local Rotary Clubs are hosting a meat-lovers paradise after an inaugural year filled with flavour.
Collectively raising $60,000 in 2018, RibFest publicity chair Pauline Buck said the money was put back in the community through different charitable efforts.
“The Rotary clubs all chose the recipients, but the funds were spread around to charities helping youth at risk, youth leadership and summer reading programs, and the Starfish Backpack program,” Buck explained – the latter being an initiative to make sure children come to school with nutritious meals.
Thousands of families ventured to the line-up of barbecue tents last summer, which boasted original recipes and flashy trophies from cooking competitions gone by.
Buck said that last year was such a fun and overwhelming success, it was without a doubt RibFest would become an annual fixture. She said meetings and plans have been underway for the past four months to make the Rotary’s rib-romp even better.
Local craft brews from Trading Post, Dead Frog, and Old Yale will be featured in beer gardens, which Buck noted is one of the biggest fundraising aspects.
“The confined beer tent won’t be happening this year – those who are of age can get a wristband at the gate and will be able to drink their beer around the whole site.”
Beer sales make up the majority of community funds raised by the Rotary clubs, with the a smaller portion coming from donations people can leave within piggy banks propped all over the park.
A kids zone provided face-painting, miniature golf, crafts, and even books to buy. This year, Buck said Hasbro Toys will be setting up a 1200 square foot centre to kids (and adults) to try out their new Nerf Blasters and Beyblade products. “Toys” for adults is a test drive track put on by Jeep.
Gator BBQ, Smoke and Bones BBQ, Prairie Smoke, GuerillaQ BBQ, and Boss Hogs are the lineup of ribbers this year, many of which are family run and champions of coveted competitions such as the Jack Daniels World Championships in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
The winner of Langley RibFest’s number one meat-makers will be crowned on the final day after tabulating sampler’s People’s Choice Award votes and another category chosen by a panel of taste-testing judges.
A steady stream of musical and dancing talent will take to the stage once again too, including the Mexico Vivo Dance Group, Brookswood Country Band, Big City Soul, Tiller’s Folly, and plenty of tribute performers imitating the sounds of Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, Heart, and CCR.
This is a family-friendly event and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to make themselves comfortable. Tents will be spread out over the many picnic tables to provide shade while rib-eaters pig out.
“RibFest reaffirms that Langley is a cool place to live and has such good community involvement through all the work that the Rotary does,” Buck added.
Volunteer positions are still available for set-up, take-down, and general facilitation of the weekend.
A full line-up of performers and world renowned ribbers can be found at www.ribfestlangley.com along with volunteer registration forms.
RibFest runs between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday, then until 8.p.m. on the Sunday.
Organizers are telling plant-based eaters not to worry, vegan and vegetarian dishes will be available too, along with corn on the cob, fresh cornbread, and more.
If people are concerned they won’t get their fill of meat with just this one event, Buck enthusiastically announced that RibFest will be back again next summer.
“Goodness yes,” she said, “why would we quit when it’s just so much fun?”
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