FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Western Canada Rib Fest Tour is setting up in Fort St. John, and the menus are drool-worthy.
Four rib trucks and a bloomin’ onion truck are now parked at Centennial Park, with the Fort St. John Rotary Rib Fest taking place from July 15th to 17th. A soft launch is taking place on Thursday from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.
On Friday and Saturday, the event runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The event will also have activities available for kids and a beer garden.
First in the line of trucks is Pistol Pete’s, with their Shot Gun Special, featuring ribs, chicken, pulled pork, sausage, beans and cole slaw.
Displayed in front of the truck is a variety of hardware they’ve collected over the years from their award-winning cuisine.
Next to Pistol Pete’s is Blazin BBQ, and manager Craig Rowe raved about their biggest item for sale, the Smokehouse Slam, featuring two full racks of ribs, a whole chicken, two pounds of pulled pork, a bottle of sauce, beans, coleslaw, and cornbread.
Rowe claims it will feed a family of four “for sure.”
The crew took “best ribs” in Beaumont just two weeks ago.
Rowe explains that Blazin’ has been around since 2002 and is one of the only teams from Canada.
Blazin BBQ is also one of two trucks serving mac and cheese this year and boasts some strict allergy rules.
“If there’s any allergies or anything like that, we’ll clean the grill completely, change the cutting board, and we’ll start all over again for them if that’s what they need,” he explained.
Next up is Buckeye BBQ, Terry Gable, who won Judge’s Choice Best Ribs and Best Sauce twice this year.
Gable explains that they are based out of Ontario but originated in St. Louis.
“The type of cut right now that everybody uses for ribs is the St. Louis side rib cut, so we kind of have that original factor of being from St. Louis,” he said.
Buckeye is the other truck selling mac and cheese this year.
A good kid option they have is called the “Little Buck-A-Roo.”
“We tailor it to more of the kids, with a small mac and cheese with sausage, two pork ribs, a cornbread, and then you can add coleslaw on the side if you want,” Gabe said.
He adds that they are selling five different types of hot sauce with varying degrees of spiciness, supplied by Oil Town Brewing Co., and three different types of rub.
The last rib truck on the row is Billy’s BBQ, now operated by Eric, who says the truck has been around for 30 years.
“I grabbed the horns around four years ago,” he said.
“We have a lot of awesome rib trucks to compete against, but we really try to bring a lot of love into everything. That’s what drives us.”
Eric says the number one seller is probably the two meat combo with the 1/3 rack and 1/4 chicken.
“Our brisket is honestly to die for too. We do a really good job on that, and our pulled pork, it’s mouth-watering as well,” he said.
Finally, at the end of the row of rib trucks is Papa Jack’s Fries & Bloomin’ Onions and manager Josh.
This year is Josh’s second time in the Energetic City, and he says last year was “one of the best shows that we had the whole season.”
“We’re expecting this to be the biggest show of the year,” he said, “It’s always a great time when we come out here. We got a nice beautiful park here. So it should be great for sure.”
There will be bands on stage during the event, with Bruised Orange Productions hosting Music in the Park Thursday evening, showcasing Half/Asian with Amy the CODA, and Rose Prairie romance playing on Saturday.