This year’s Ribfest has been cancelled

Steadily declining attendance has impacted finances since move from Centennial to Hiawatha

People who were already licking their lips in anticipation of Sarnia Ribfest this coming Father’s Day are sure to be disappointed with the announcement that the event has been cancelled.

As for reasons for the cancellation, Kinsmen Club spokesperson Gord Gark said a combination of declining attendance, likely the result of a move from Centennial Park, and the risk of a bad weather weekend when the finances are “running pretty close to the line” prompted the club to make the decision.

“I have to say that Jim Henderson and his folks (at Hiawatha) were super for us,” Gark added. “They did a lot of stuff or us, but what couldn’t be helped was the loss in walk in traffic that we had when we were downtown.”

The disappointment at the news is spreading, including from Tourism Sarnia-Lambton official Vicky Praill, who had posted the announcement on the organization’s website after receiving notification.

“Anytime there’s a cancellation obviously it hurts the community and is one less asset that we have,” Praill told another media outlet.

Ribfest moved from Centennial Park after environmental issues arose, landing at Hiawatha Horse Park.

Gark says discussions will be held among the Kinsmen Club members and the Ribfest committee about what might happen with the event next year.

“By then, in all likelihood Centennial would be available for us,” he said.

Last year, Ribfest dodged a bullet due to the lack of major sponsors, although it did take place.

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