Rotary Ribfest will bring Okanagan Lake Park alive July 3 to 5 with a full weekend of family fun. Champion barbecue teams will go head-to-head in a cookoff and there will be music and entertainment for all ages.

Rotary Ribfest will bring Okanagan Lake Park alive July 3 to 5 with a full weekend of family fun. Champion barbecue teams will go head-to-head in a cookoff and there will be music and entertainment for all ages.

Penticton Rotary Ribfest ready to dish up good times

Some of the best ribs in the country are coming to Okanagan Lake Park this weekend.

Some of the best ribs in the country are coming to Okanagan Lake Park this weekend.

The first ever Rotary Ribfest is set to overtake Penticton with the smell of ribs and the sound of music filling the air July 3-5, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, with no cost for admission.

“It is very exciting it’s coming together very well,” said Barb Hoolaeff, chairperson of the Rotary Ribfest.

“Totally free admission, it’s a great family event,”

Four professional ribbers are bringing their culinary skills to the festival, two from Ontario, one from Alberta and one from B.C.

“The ribbers are very professional at what they do. They’ve done this all over the country,” Hoolaeff said. “They’ve got secret recipes and they’ve been doing it a lot, lots of experience,”

Four large displays will be featured in Okanagan Lake Park with entertainment and a children’s zone featuring face painting, stilt walkers, clowns and some critters from Andy’s Animal Acres.

A beverage garden will be onsite as well, and of course ribs, which will be sold by the ribbers with a half-rack going for $15.

“I’ve been to Kamloops a couple of times and worked with the Kamloops ribfest. It’s better than anything I’ve ever tasted anywhere else,” Hoolaeff said.

The musical entertainment kicks off with Penticton’s Nikita Afonso Band at 11:30 a.m. and Blackberry Wood closing the night off at 7 p.m. Blackberry Wood is a high-energy cabaret style band that infuses modern flavours like ska, indie-rock, hip hop and other foot-stomping sounds. The band spices up their performance with flashy costumes.

“There was an era when it was OK to play in ripped-up jeans. But, I think it’s a lot more fun to get totally into different characters and dress up,” said band leader Kris Mitchell.

Saturday will feature Great White North at 1:20 p.m. and the Legendary Lake Monsters at 7 p.m.

Great White North basks heavily in acoustic folk rock roots as well they dive into hard rock, country and blues sounds.

Neil Young tribute band Forever Young will close out the entertainment on Sunday at 7 p.m. and local rockers Cosmic Brew are playing Friday at 3:10 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.

Cosmic Brew puts their own interpretations on classic rock songs with energy and precision. Kevin Foley brings Neil Young to the stage with his tribute performance honouring the Canadian musician through the decades. He is one of the most sought after Neil Young tribute artists.

The Roland Allen Trio perform on both Friday and Sunday at 5 p.m. The Penticton-based group cover music from the ‘60s to today and will have the crowd up and dancing with their musical talent. For more information visit www.pentictonribfrest.com.