‘Ribbers’ ready for a smoking weekend

Fire up the smoker and strap on the bib, Rotary Ribfest begins July 3.

Shauni Shelly hands a grill piece to Katie MacDonald inside the large smoker as the Misty Mountain BBQ team set up for the Rotary Ribfest at Okanagan Lake Park which begins July 3.

Shauni Shelly hands a grill piece to Katie MacDonald inside the large smoker as the Misty Mountain BBQ team set up for the Rotary Ribfest at Okanagan Lake Park which begins July 3.

Fire up the smoker and strap on the bib, Rotary Ribfest begins July 3.

An estimated 10,000 hungry people are expected to converge on Lake Okanagan Park during the three-day feast fest put on by the Rotary Club of Penticton.

During that time there will be a judged rib cook off between four Canadian championship barbecue teams.

Among the competitors will be ribber Matt Smith and his crew of 15 who make up the Gator BBQ team out of Port Dover, Ont.

“Everybody loves ribs. When you come to a ribfest first it’s going to be through your nose and your eyes and then your mouth,” he said during a press conference July 2 at the Barley Mill. “Bring your family and have fun because this is kind of like having a party in your backyard and you don’t have to clean up. There is no admission fees and food’s great and dad can have a beer every body goes home happy.”

Aside from the ribs, the menu will include pulled pork, beef brisket along with the traditional sides of beans, coleslaw and potatoes.

The other three teams competing are Boss Hogs of London Ont. Misty Mountain BBQ Express of Hinton, Alta. and Vancouver’s Smoke and Bones.

Also on the plate for the weekend will be activities and entertainment for all ages, including a beverage garden and plenty of vendors.

As well, there will be The Coconut Express shuttle service leaving Ribfest every half hour starting at 7 p.m. each night. The vehicle will stop at variety of locations, including hotels, motels and campgrounds.

Money raised from the event will go towards Rotary’s ongoing community projects locally.

The cash and in-kind budget for what is to become an annual event is in excess of $160,000 according to Rotary spokesperson Barb Hoolaeff.

Ribfest runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. all three days.