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Esquimalt filled with great barbecue as Ribfest returns all weekend

Ribbers competing for prizes
Check out Ribfest from Friday to Sunday in Esquimalt. (Jessica Williamson/Black Press Media) Check out Ribfest from Friday to Sunday in Esquimalt. (Jessica Williamson/Black Press Media)

Tanara Oliveira/News Staff

Esquimalt RibFest, a much-expected event for rib enthusiasts, is coming back this weekend, building upon its resounding success in 2022.

Offering a delectable array of food, a captivating musical lineup, and the perfect ambiance for cherished moments with friends, RibFest promises to be – again – an unforgettable experience.

The event will be happening from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., the ribbers proudly present their mouth-watering creations for judgment right in front of the main stage. A celebrity panel of judges will have the delightful task of determining who serves up the best ribs and the most tantalizing sauce among the ribbers’ offerings.

The experts are not the only ones who get to decide. Those who are going to the event have a say too. You can vote for your best ribs and sauce of the weekend in the People’s Choice Award. The ribbers want to be able to say they made the best ribs, so make sure you try all of their delicious ribs and sides before you decide. You can cast your vote by filling out a paper ballot and dropping it in the designated ballot box at the information tent.

While enjoying the festivities, don’t miss the 50/50 draw. It’s worth noting that the Celebration of Lights and the Thunder Indigenous Rugby groups are independently hosting their respective 50/50 draws and other fundraising activities. To win, you must be present, as numbers will continue to be drawn until a winner emerges. There will be two draws on Saturday — one at 4:30 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m., both held on the main stage.

You can also support Thunder Indigenous Rugby’s initiatives on the event by participating in their 50/50 draw. Draws will happen on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the main stage.

Admission is free or by donation to the Esquimalt Fire Fighters’ Charitable Foundation. The event is cash only. To make your visit hassle-free, there will be a shuttle running every 20 minutes between Bullen Park and the parking lot located on Canteen Road and Lyall Street. Parking is not allowed in the Esquimalt Plaza shopping centre, so consider taking the bus. Visit the BC Transit website to check your route.