THUNDER BAY – Rain or shine, rib lovers will be able to sink their teeth into this weekend’s festival.
The third annual Ribfest takes place from Friday to Sunday in the Park Avenue and Court Street area and will feature four major ribbers as well as 15 north core and local food vendors. Proceeds from the event will benefit Our Kids Count and the Dew Drop Inn.
Organizers expect it to be a busy three days.
“We’re hoping to have around 30,000 (people) over the three days,” says Suzan Cooper Rochon, an event organizer. “That’s close to what we had last year.
They might get more with added attractions aimed at families and the city's youth. They've set aside an area on Court Street where kids can try jousting and play on inflatables.
Another new event is called Are You Stronger than a Derby Queen.
“You’ll have to come out and see what that’s all about,” says Cooper Rochon.
Our Kids Count volunteer John Trevisanutto says the Motors and Muscles show really changed the profile of Ribfest since the charity raffle joined forces with Ribfest at its inaugural 2012 event.
“We exposed more people to our strongman competition, to CrossFit and to the biker games, which was a really good thing. We initiated the bike show as well because there were more people and more interest in the event,” he says.
Ribfest is bringing back its popular strongman competition on Saturday morning and offering up bike games at 5 p.m.
“All day Saturday on Court Street we will be having the bike show run by Craig and Karen Campbell, and it's open to any kind of motorcycle,” Trevisanutto added. “There’s great prizes, trophies for anyone that wants to participate.”
On Sunday, CrossFit Thunder Bay will host a competition featuring 30 teams of two people starting at 11 a.m.
Trevisanutto hopes to sell out 50/50 raffle to match the already sold-out motorcycle draw.
Due to street closures, organizers recommend attendees take transit to the festival, though Petrie’s Cycle and Sport and EcoSuperior will be hosting a bike valet service on Court Street and Red River Road that has room for about 40 bikes.
“You can ride your bike on down and they will lock it up for you, take care of it,” says Cooper Rochon.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Cooper Rochon says people should get to the festival early.
“Get your ribs and avoid the long lineups.”
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