Austin Ring loads up on some sauce to slather on the ribs grilling at Prairie Smoke & Spice at the 2018 Penticton Rotary’s Ribfest. It is not too late for those interested in volunteering at the upcoming event (Steve Kidd - Western News)

It pays off to be a volunteer with Penticton Ribfest

Local businesses will be catering the volunteer breakout tent at the annual event

It’s not too late to sign up for those still interested in volunteering at Penticton’s Ribfest from June 28 to July 1.

According to Barb Hoolaeff, with the Rotary Club of Penticton and one of the event organizers, the annual event has 600 volunteer time slots covered by 220 volunteers. She said the club does its utmost to make sure the volunteers are well-treated, which is likely why they’ve seen so many return year after year.

“They come from all over, most of our volunteers do come from town. But I know a number of people who will come down from Vancouver and Prince George and all over,” said Hoolaeff. “We had our orientation for the volunteers on June 13 and I asked if it was the first year for anyone and only one person raised their hand. Everybody else had volunteered two or three or four times, and this is year five for many.”

READ MORE: Protestors take aim at Penticton’s Ribfest

Hoolaeff said volunteers fill a number of different roles at this event, which acts as a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Penticton and supports its endeavours throughout the year.

“We need people cleaning tables and sorting recycle, and people running ribs because we have a section where people can come to the table and order their ribs, then sit down and enjoy a beverage. Then we’ll text them to come and get it when it’s ready, so they can order from all five ribbers at one time,” said Hoolaeff.

Returning volunteers will note some changes this year, including catering from local businesses in the breakout tent for volunteers. Hoolaeff said in the past, they typically relied on snacks like donuts and chips, so this is a step up.

“On the Friday, Denny’s is going to bring by sandwiches and subs for the volunteers. On Saturday, Dominoes will be providing pizza, then on Sunday and Monday Bogner’s of Penticton will be providing them food,” said Hoolaeff. “On the Tuesday afterwards there will be a free burger buffet at the Barley Mill Pub for our volunteers, which will have some draw prizes including a grand prize two-night stay in Kamloops for their Ribfest along with a couple hundred dollars of spending money.

“So we do our best to treat these people the best that we can.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with Penticton Ribfest can visit

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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