Can you smell that? You will if you're at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth this weekend.
The popular Ribfest event is taking place July 5, 6 and 7 and the aroma of rib sauces will be filing the air. The grounds open at 11 a.m. each day.
The Mariners Centre is a new venue for the event, which for the past three years has been held on the Yarmouth waterfront.
Ribfest is a professional barbeque competition that has expanded across North America and has branded itself as one of the largest food events traveling from city to city. Five years ago, the Ribber group began to develop a Maritime route covering New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. Yarmouth was able to get in on the action.
Yarmouth's 4th annual event will have the same returning professional teams as previous years, plus a new team. All teams compete during the event for the "People’s Choice" award the bragging rights that come with it. Ballots are available, and all are encouraged to vote for their favourite team.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
The Yarmouth Ribfest is sponsored by a new entity called All Events Management Inc.
All proceeds from Ribfest are being donated to the charities and organizations who provide the excellent volunteer service that makes the event possible. The event's website notes you will see many volunteers from Yarmouth 4H, Search and Rescue, and Yarmouth County Minor Hockey, and others, on site.
The event will be set up in the front parking lot of the Mariners Centre (Parking for the public will be in the overflow area of the Mariners Centre property. People are encouraged to use the Jody Shelley Drive entrance. Ground Search and Rescue is volunteering to assist with the parking and will be charging $2 to park as a fundraiser for their organization.)
In addition to the eating side of the event, there is more happening at the Mariners Centre. Also to be held is a craft showcase focusing on local and provincial crafters. It is slated to be held inside the Mariners Centre, with Ribfest happening outside. The craft show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
In Ribfest’s first year, more than 18,000 people were served on the Yarmouth waterfront. In 2018 over 24,000 people were served and a study found 60 per cent were from outside of the, which brought economic benefit to the area, organizers say.
All Events will be operating the Yarmouth event and will provide paid staff for set-up and tear-down and to manage various other services such as water, power, cleanup, health and fire inspections and contractual requirements. All Events has a contract with the ribber group that Yarmouth will be a permanent location one week after the Halifax Ribfest (the July 1) weekend.
This year, the Yarmouth County Minor Hockey Association has been selected as the main benefactor of the event.
At Ribfest tokens will be sold for beverages, that includes soft drinks, water and hot and cold coffee, which helps with the fundraising for the groups that volunteer their time at the event.
There will be an electronic web-based 50/50 system with a daily draw and tokens will be sold for all soft drinks and beer. Tusket Falls Brewery will be on site, as well as a McDonalds McCafé serving both hot and cold coffee.
There will be entertainment in the big tents over the two nights. DNR is listed as the main event. The evenings will include a $10 cover charge for music played inside a licensed area.
The stage on the main grounds will offer, from opening to closing, various performers including Elizabeth Wright, Gerard Leblanc and Arden Gaudet with Too Many Fingers, along with others.
Organizers also say plans have been in the works to add vendors and events to create a carnival environment for the whole family. Yarmouth Big Bounce will be at Ribfest.