Turn up the ovens – Ribfest is coming back to Summerside and some local "ribbers" are getting in on the action.
The three-day barbecue is returning to the city after a year’s absence.
The event was here in 2017 as a fundraiser for the Summerside Western Capitals hockey team. An attempt was made to move it back to Charlottetown for 2018, but it fell through at the last minute.
In 2017 Phil Bridges was working for the Summerside Western Capitals and helped bring Ribfest to the City. Bridges is no longer with the Caps but he is involved with the Slemon Park rink, The Plex.
That facility, along with Generation XX, are now the main non-profit beneficiaries of a portion of Ribfest’s proceeds.
The committee has since secured sponsorships from local business, including headline sponsor Summerside Chrysler Dodge, and the City of Summerside.
It’s gearing up to be a great event for the community, said Bridges.
“We received nothing but great comments about the event and there were a lot of people disappointed when it didn’t come back last year,” said Bridges.
“We think it’s well worth the effort we’re putting into it to bring it back. Hopefully this time we can make it an annual event in downtown Summerside.”
The Summerside Ribfest will be Aug. 16 to 18 at Green’s Shore.
Camp 31, a barbecue truck, will be back for their second visit to the city and will be joined by the Silver Bullet crew and Summerside’s own High on the Hog.
Launched about a year ago, High on the Hog is a food truck focused on barbecue products created by owners Mitchell Arsenault, Gary Arsenault and Gail Tuplin.
Participating in Ribfest is an exciting opportunity to work with the larger operations, said Mitchell.
“We’re pretty small compared to them but we’re going to give it a try,” he added.
“It’s a little bit intimidating but we’re very happy with our product … and I feel like we can offer ribs that are right up there with theirs.”
High on the Hog was built into a converted school bus. It's home base for this summer season is in the Waughs Food Centre on Water Street East in Summerside, but it also regularly travels around the Island for special events.
They're so busy that they are even working on building a second, if smaller, barbecue vehicle.