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Ribfest returns for 17th year

Oshawa’s event the original in Durham Region

The Rotary Club of Oshawa’s Ribfest marks its 17th year in 2018. This year’s event will run Aug. 17 to Aug. 19.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Durham Region’s original event dedicated to all things ribs will make its return to Lakeview Park in just about a month.

The Rotary Club of Oshawa’s Ribfest marks its 17th year in 2018. This year’s event will run Aug. 17 to Aug. 19.

All proceeds raised from Ribfest will stay in the community and support local causes such as camp programs, school breakfast programs, the 1515 Chadburn Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and Grandview Children’s Hospital.

The Rotary Club of Oshawa has raised more than $1 million in the first 16 years of Ribfest.

Jay Cannings, chair of the event’s organizing committee, says they expect between 50,000 to 70,000 people to attend over the weekend depending on the weather.

For this year, organizers have decided to drop the number of ribbers from 10 to eight.

Cannings says this was seen to be an appropriate logistic decision.

There have also been some changes made to the layout of the event.

“It’s going to be easier for people to walk around. The main beverage tent will be located centrally, so we believe it’s going to be a more friendly environment,” he says

.Along with the ‘ribbers,’ the event will feature approximately 70 vendors and a variety of live acts providing entertainment.

Mayor John Henry says the impact of Ribfest is two-fold.

“For Rotary it’s their major fundraiser – all the money they raise goes right back into the community and it’s an exciting weekend with great music and good food and gives the residents of Oshawa something to do at one of the nicest parks on the north side of Lake Ontario,” Henry says.

Asked if he likes to remind his fellow mayors that Oshawa had the original Ribfest in Durham Region, Henry joked “it is a bit of jab” he likes to get in but nevertheless praised the work of Rotary Clubs in communities across the municipality.

As always the event will feature free parking and admission.