Prince George Ribfest

Let’s get right to the details!

It’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 21st through 23rd.  Attendance is free.  Ribs are not.  The entire venue sits contained within the Pacific Western Brewing parking lot, precluding the need for a beer garden.  After 5:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, the event shifts to an adults-only concert running until 11:00 pm.  On Sunday, the event expands to include a public market and is open to all ages from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

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And it will be glorious.

This first Prince George Ribfest marks the culmination of a protracted crusade by several individuals, both inside and outside Nechako Rotary—the organization coordinating the event.  The initial duo comprised of myself (Chris Dias) and Rachelle Delorey.  As an outsider, I had literally stumbled into the Kamloops Ribfest on my way to a wine tour starting the next day.  My fiancée and I were hooked, so much so that a year later, we attended a similar event in Kelowna.  But why did every town seemingly have a Ribfest except Prince George?  Rachelle asked that as well, and soon, we combined our talents to jump-start the first local event.

“I wanted to bring communities together,” explains Rachelle, “Food, music, entertainment, different cultures; I wanted to make a difference by raising money and helping with the communities that need us.  Right now, for us, it’s homelessness.”

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However, we required ribbers.  Yes, that’s what they are called.  Through the Kamloops rotary, we connected with Tom Diavolitsis from Boss Hog’s, who in turn pulled in Gator BBQ, Misty Mountain, and Prairie Smoke & Spice.  Words cannot suitably describe a ribber truck.  This is no small food trailer.  Each ribber stretches 40 feet (give or take an awning) and erects an intimidating front wall standing as much as three stories, from which hangs numerous acquired awards earned as said ribber tours the country.  Prince George Ribfest is lucky in that these ribbers are bringing their best trucks with their best crews, and hopefully, their best ribs.  To accent these juggernauts of animal protein, PG Ribfest will also boast popular food truck accompaniments including Monster Cones and Lakeside donuts. 

There’s also beer. 

There will be a lot of beer. 

It’s at a brewery; it should be expected.

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Ribfest will be blasting music as well from numerous local names including The Fiddlers, Far From Linear, The Chris Goodwin Band, Coldwater Creek, Rick Stavely, Ben Brown, Barefoot Friday's, Good Juju, Studio 720, Audio Union, Pink Champagne, and Bralorne.   Magician Clinton W. Gray will also be wowing crowds every day.

I cannot stress enough how massive this is for Prince George, and it will only get better.  It came about thanks to the perseverance, commitment, and (critically) money from confidence sponsors like Canadian Tire, Treasure Cove Casino, SaveOn Foods and Vortex Social Marketing.  However, it was Pacific Western Brewery and Kyle Sampson’s inclusion when this near Sisyphean-sized boulder started rolling, one sure to keep its inertia for many years to come.

“We are really lucky to have four of the best ribbers in Canada,” said Robert Quibell of Vortex Social Marketing, “Mostly, this is about ribs and having fun.  But we’ll be raising money for homeless initiatives which the PG. Nechako Rotary has taken on as our major focus. We will continue until we find a PG solution for a PG problem.”

As said 405 words prior, on Sunday, the venue expands to include a local marketplace including more food vendors and novelty exhibitors. 

The first Prince George Ribfest is a long time coming, and only with the support of the local community can it succeed.  The food will be amazing, the music will rock, and if you don’t walk away satisfied, then someone gave you bad directions.

Check out the official RibFest Website at http://www.pgribfest.ca

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