FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Grab some napkins, and prepare to drool because the Western Canada Rib Fest Tour is returning to the Energetic City for three days.
Four rib trucks and a bloomin onion truck will be parked outside Centennial Park from July 15th to 17th for a full-blown festival compared to last year’s drive-thru-only event.
Both Rotary clubs in Fort St. John have put together a committee to organize the event and have booked Train Wreck, Rose Prairie Romance, and the Sweetwater Band to perform on the stage.
There will also be a beer garden and activities set up for kids, such as face painting.
Co-chair of the Rotary Rib Fest committee, Jeff Garrison, says there are still some finishing touches in the works for the event.
“Hopefully, things to keep you entertained, where you want to just come down and stay all day and see what’s going on and enjoy,” said Garrison noting that the event is free to attend.
When the committee was formed, provincial health orders were still in effect, making it hard for them to gauge what they could lock in for the event.
The Western Rib Fest Tour first approached the rotary clubs in 2020 to organize the festival, but COVID-19 forced the event to be a drive-thru only.
Garrison says this meant the clubs’ participation was limited to selling pop and water to vehicles. However, this year, the Rotary clubs are planning to go all out.
The four rib trucks making a stop in Fort St. John are Pistol Pete’s, Buckeye BBQ, Camp 31 and Billy’s BBQ. Papa Jack’s Bloomin Onion & Fries will also be in attendance.
The trucks will have their specialty ribs prepared, but pulled pork, brisket, coleslaw, and baked beans will also be available.
Usually, Rotarians organize events with funds going towards local non-profits, but this year money raised through the beer garden and other vendors they bring in will be going towards the rotary clubs.
Garrison says this is due to the clubs not being able to host their usual fundraisers over the past two years.
Before stopping in Fort St. John for the second time, the Western Canada Rib Fest Tour will make its way to St. Albert, Lloydminster, Beaumont and Cold Lake.
Last year’s event saw around 3,000 vehicles, and leftover food was donated to the Northern Center of Hope and the food bank.