Lineups for the resurrected RibFest in Langley started before the gates opened, and continued inside, as people lined up at “Ribbers” with names like “Smoke Dem Bones,” “Prairie Spice,” and “Boss Hogg’s” to sample their wares.
Running from Friday, Aug. 12, to Sunday, Aug. 14 next to McLeod Athletic Park, it was the first RibFest since 2019, after the four Langley Rotary clubs that organized the annual fundraising event closed it down for two years in a row due to concerns about COVID-19.
Beginning Friday, Aug. 12 at McLeod Athletic Park, located at the northwest corner of 56th Avenue and 216th Street, the event was presented by Langley’s three credit unions (Envisions, G&F Financial Group, and Prospera) and hosted by the Rotary clubs of Langley.
Jeff Morfitt, chair of RibFest, said “it’s way bigger than people usually expect. When they come in the door, that’s the big surprise, it’s a big event.”
The sprawling site featured a lineup of rib outlets, along with other dining options that included treats like ice cream and mini-doughnuts, as well as a kid zone with everything from face painting to a Fraser Valley Bandits basketball challenge and a used book sale, along with a chance to play the latest Nintendo games.
There was live entertainment, by tribute bands and ethnic musicians, with headliners Ten Souljers Band, West Coast Chicago, and Big City Soul playing each night.
A site-wide licence allowed visitors to consume beer, wine and cider and other adult beverages while waiting in line for ribs.
“It’s a carnival kind of atmosphere,” Morfitt remarked.
The last RibFest, in 2019, saw more than 35,000 people enjoy a food-filled family weekend while raising approximately $150,000.
This year, the clubs were hoping to do better, and they did.
Attendance was 37,400 guests over the three days up 15 per cent from 2019.
There were 27,720 50-50 tickets available for sale.
As of the sales deadline of midnight, Sunday, August 14, a rough estimate put the amount raised at $285,00.
Next is the 50/50 Draw, which is set for Friday, August 19, noon, at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.
Half the jackpot will go to the winner, and half will go to charities supported by the four Rotary Clubs in Langley, including Langley Hospice Society, Foundry Langley, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, Langley School District Foundation, Aldergrove Food Bank, Gateway of Hope, Starfish Backpack Program, Langley Volunteer Bureau, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Langley, the Aldergrove Fair and the Langley Music School, and other Rotary Club Service Projects.
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