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Inaugural St. John's Ribfest confirms three participants

Mitchell Russell from the Camp 31 rib team, one of three confirmed groups for the inaugural St. John’s Ribfest, showed the crowd what was in store for them as they waited in line at the Sydney Ribfest in 2017.
Mitchell Russell from the Camp 31 rib team, one of three confirmed groups for the inaugural St. John’s Ribfest, showed the crowd what was in store for them as they waited in line at the Sydney Ribfest in 2017. - SaltWire File Photo

Quidi Vidi will come alive with the aroma of barbecue, sounds of musical performances July 18-20

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

How do you like them ribs?

You will get a chance to find out … and more … when the Canadian Progress Club St. John’s hosts the inaugural St. John’s Ribfest, presented by Colemans, to be held in the Quidi Vidi area of St. John’s from July 18-20.

“The Progress Club of Canada was looking for a hallmark event that could sustain a five- to 10-year run,’’ said Seamus O’Keefe of SOK Associates Inc., a member of the Progress Club of St. John’s and the planner involved in helping bring in Ribfest.

“They wanted to see what they could invest in and Ribfest jumped out at us. There is no event like this here in Newfoundland and Labrador, so it is something different and is perfect for this area.”

O’Keefe said it is a perfect space to celebrate food, drink and music. Pleasantville is a great spot, the same footprint that hosts Iceberg Ally.

The Canadian Progress Club is a fellowship of charitable-minded Canadians who are committed to strengthening communities through hands-on service and fundraising to benefit those in need. 

"There is no event like this here in Newfoundland and Labrador, so it is something different and is perfect for this area." — Seamus O'Keefe

O’Keefe said there are three groups scheduled to participate — Camp 31, Crabby’s Barbecue and Texas Rangers.

In addition, there are several food trucks that will be on site to provide local flavour. Those include Big Boy Baos, Loco Poko, The Bigs and Hitchin’ Kitchen.

Held throughout the country, Ribfests are community events that provide opportunities for patrons to taste and sample a wide variety of barbecue delicacies and local food truck specialties within a festival environment. 

“Ribfest is a perfect fit for Colemans. Celebrating with food and music while giving back to the communities that we serve is what we're all about,” said Greg Gill, Colemans vice-president of marketing.

Additional corporate support for this year’s Ribfest comes from Steers Insurance, Pepsi/Browning Harvey, Lamb’s Sociable, O’Neill Motors, Bud Light and Stingray Digital.

Daily admission tickets will be $10  and went on sale July 3 at Colemans stores in the metro St. John’s area, eTixNow kiosks in North Atlantic Petroleum Orangestores across the province and online at www.stjohnsribfest.com.

A Ribfest event in Yarmouth, N.S. last July? The ribbers sold more than 20,000 pounds of ribs and 6,000 pounds of chicken. - SaltWire File Photo
A Ribfest event in Yarmouth, N.S. last July? The ribbers sold more than 20,000 pounds of ribs and 6,000 pounds of chicken. - SaltWire File Photo

Tickets will also be available on the day of the show at the gate. 

The complete festival lineup, event information and nightly promotions can be found at stjohnsribfest.com.

Proceeds from Ribfest will go to support the CPC St. John’s and its primary charities — Special Olympics NL and the Vera Perlin Society.

“They started with us in 1986 and we depend on them for their constant support,” said Thelma Williams, president of the Vera Perlin Society.

“This is new for them as a fundraiser, so I hope it goes well. The way things are with charities, it is great to get something that has music involved, and barbecues,” she added.

The Special Olympians are also hoping for a great turnout, as they are sending a team of 70 athletes to the nationals in Thunder Bay, Ont., later this summer.

"We are excited about Ribfest. It is an innovative way to raise funds and I think this will go a long way to sending our athletes to Thunder Bay," Trish WIlliams, executive director of Special Olympics NL, said Monday.

The festival of food and music will feature headliner performances by well-known local musicians such as the 8 Track Favourites, Abbey Road and Billy & The Bruisers. In total, 15 artists will take to the stage over the course of the Festival featuring a variety of genres and musical styles. 

“We are excited to bring back the Ribfest concept to St. John’s and provide the unique experience for residents and foodie enthusiasts alike that will directly benefit our local charities,” said Stephen Puddister, president of CPC St. John’s.

“Progress Club has a long tradition of being involved in the community and we anticipate this will grow to become an iconic annual event in the festival season.”


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