The smell of smoke wafting blocks down from Bullen Park signalled the return of Esquimalt Ribfest before attendees even pulled up to the event grounds on Sept. 10.
Physically distanced lineups stretched from the six ribber stands, with people in them watching on as meat maestros painted sticky barbeque sauce – some sweet, some bold, but all touched by smoke – onto hog racks and chicken chunks. As the ribs came off the BBQ pits on one side of the park, guitar riffs rose from the other.
“I think everybody is really excited to have some outdoor fun and the majority of people are looking forward to contributing to a charitable event,” said Ribfest chair Tom Woods.
This year’s event is supporting more than 50 charities with one of the main ones contributing to a year-round turf field for local youth to use. Woods said the event has raised more than $700,000 for charity over nine years.
“Our goal is just to have fun and to make sure that everyone, when they come here, they’re smiling and happy,” he said. “And if we make money on top of that, it’s just gold.”
Ribfest runs until 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sept. 12.
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