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Get your bibs ready Oshawa, Ribfest returns next month

Bernie Gerl of Camp 31 BBQ shows off some of the ribs that attendees can expect to taste at the 18th annual Ribfest at Lakeview Park on Aug. 16 to 18. (Photo by Dave Flaherty)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

A little more than a month from now, Lakeview Park will be overcome with the smell of juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Oshawa Ribfest, presented by the Rotary Club of Oshawa, will return for its 18th year on Aug. 16 to 18.

All proceeds from Ribfest will stay in the community and support a number of local charitable causes.

The Rotary Club of Oshawa has raised more than $1 million over the past 17 years.

According to Ribfest chair Jay Cannings, changes made to the layout of the event last year were well received.

Cannings said it was “unbelievable” how many more people stayed for a longer period last year.

“We wanted to create an environment where people come with their family and stay, not just eat and then leave,” he said.

The changes to the layout allowed organizers to add about 1,000 more seats, he explains.

New this year is an upgraded stage that Cannings says will provide a better acoustic sound and layout for entertainers.

In addition to the entertainers, there will be eight “ribbers,” approximately 65 vendors, and the always popular midway attraction.

Six of the “ribbers” are returning from last year.

Cannings says when inviting in new companies, they will often speak with the returning “ribbers” for their opinions.

“We do our due diligence, it’s not just some random company,” he states.

There are plenty of Ribfest events across Durham Region and the GTA, but Cannings believes what sets Oshawa’s apart is the location.

“It really is a beautiful park, and there is plenty of room to move around and plenty of trees to provide shade,” he says.