Ribfest returns to area this weekend

Group is helping to fill void with Hiawatha event beginning Friday

Sarnia Ribfest is returning to Hiawatha Horse Park this weekend after a group from London stepped in.

A group that has put on at least 10 rib and barbecue events throughout Ontario this summer has added Sarnia to the Northern Heat Rib Series for this weekend, starting Friday (September 2) at 4 p.m. and running Saturday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Hiawatha Horse Park.

Justin Brown, who is at the helm of Northern Heat Rib Series, said he is responding to a void that came up when the Sarnia Kinsmen Club bowed out of its perennial event in May, citing declining attendance and costs as a factor.

Brown said he has put together a group of five “ribbers” who will be cooking and serving at the event, which will be free to attend. As in the past, food will be sold to attendees.

There are also several charities involved in accepting donations, including the Inn of the Good Shepherd and St. Clair Child & Youth Services.

A “dunk tank” is being featured, also a charity event incorporated in the Sarnia Ribfest.

There will also be a fun zone for kids as well as vendors selling crafts and live music in addition to the ribs being sold.

David Burrows, a local Internet broadcaster who is featured on Lambton Shield and who operates TVSN.ca, will emcee all the entertainment for the weekend and is the official “media sponsor” for Sarnia Ribfest. Burrows was involved in booking various acts and will be promoting the event through social media, including broadcasting portions of the event on Facebook Live and other social media outlets.

in the meantime, there have been discussions with Kinsmen Club members as to reviving the Ribfest event at its original location in Centennial Park. That would presumably take place next year, once remediation work at Centennial is completed.

That event would occur in July, although plans are at this point preliminary.

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