After two years of drive-thru Ribs to Go events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Niagara Falls Ribfest is scheduled to return to its traditional format June 17, 18, and 19 at Rapidsview Park.
While four ribbers have been finalized – Billy Bones, Bone Daddy, Hogfather, and Silver Bullet – organizers of the successful annual fundraiser for Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise are still looking for other food trucks and miscellaneous vendors to round out the festival atmosphere.
“This will be the full event,” said Ribfest co-chairman Scott Wright.
“It’s going to be Friday (4-11 p.m.), Saturday (noon-11 p.m.), and Sunday (noon-7 p.m.), like normal on Father’s Day weekend. We’re going to have four ribbers this year. We’re going to have live entertainment all weekend. There will be a beer tent and other food vendors and miscellaneous vendors as well.”
He said a car show is scheduled to be held in the parking lot Sunday afternoon.
“We’re trying to get as many activities as possible to get it back up and going like it was before.”
Last year, the Rotary club hosted two Ribs to Go events in a drive-thru format featuring two ribbers – Billy Bones and Camp 31.
The club hosted two drive-thru events in 2020 as well.
The event returned to Rapidsview Park last year after being held in 2020 in the parking lot of the former Canadian Tire store on Montrose Road.
Ribfest is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year (along with a TV auction), generating about $35,000 in a typical year, and attracting around 20,000 people over three days.
The event is an important fundraiser for the club, as the money raised goes right back into the community, supporting nutritional programs, the hospital foundation, and mental-health services.
Wright said he hopes a pent-up demand for people wanting to get out and about after two years of a pandemic will benefit this year’s event.
“I think there is a lot of people that are obviously anxious to get out, get involved with a community event, and Ribfest, this is our 18th year of doing it, so it’s a Father’s Day tradition for a lot of people,” he said.
“They’re going to want to get out and listen to the live music and enjoy the food and the beautiful outdoor park – I think that will the case for the majority of people.”
For more information about Ribfest, and to register as a vendor, visit https://niagarafallsribfest.com.