Ribfest first came to the Valley in 1994 and is the principal annual fundraiser for Strathcona Sunrise Rotary. In the intervening years, Ribfest has evolved into a major Comox Valley community, family-friendly summer Festival. 

Last year, following a two-year hiatus, Ribfest burst onto the scene at Village Park in Cumberland. According to Ed Broughton, Co-Chair of Rotary’s Ribfest, “Coming to Cumberland was absolutely the best move for us. The Village welcomed us with open arms and more than 10,000 people from across the Valley and beyond streamed through our gate for hearty helpings of ribs at the three-day Festival.” 

Three days of delicious ribs! 

Ribfest offers great food with five Rib Trucks competing to deliver the best ribs, sauces and sides. And the top award – People’s Choice Trophy is voted by visitors to the Festival. The ‘Ribbers’ are part of a summer-long circuit of Ribfests staged in communities across Canada. 

Local food trucks provide delectable alternatives for ribs at the weekend Festival. Along with music and entertainment for the entire family, visitors can enjoy sodas, beer from three local breweries and ciders with their meals while nestled in a beautiful park setting surrounded by the Cumberland Forest.

The Rotary-sponsored Festival is the ‘greenest’ fair in the Comox Valley. Working with CVRD, Ribfest diverts hundreds of liters of waste to compost and recycles more than any other fair. This ensures that as much waste product as possible is kept out of the landfill. 

“This year, in a unique alignment of purpose and process,” notes Alexis Forbes, incoming President of Strathcona Sunrise Rotary, “funds we generate at Ribfest will go toward supporting a new Pump Track skateboard park planned for the Village of Cumberland.”

Volunteers are the Heartbeat of Ribfest!

“Without an amazing cohort of volunteers from Rotary, from friends and relatives across the Valley, we could never pull off our summer Rib Festival,” says Ed Broughton. “But perhaps our ‘poster volunteer’ from last year, came to us all the way from Tsawwassen. Lucie Black was also one of our youngest volunteers.”

12-year old Lucie is the granddaughter of Lynn Black, a staunch Rotarian and an avid volunteer in her own right. But granddaughter Lucie stole the show. Lucie was a one-girl welcoming committee staffing the gate to welcome visitors to the Festival. “She made everyone feel welcome, explained the concept of a donation for entrance and put a ‘piggy’ stamp on every extended hand or arm,” says Grandma Black.

Lucie has already signed up again this year. She will once again be the lead volunteer-host welcoming visitors to Ribfest 2023 for this three-day Festival from Friday August 25, Saturday August 26 through Sunday August 27.

Philippa Atwood

Ribfest Comox Valley, A project of Strathcona Sunrise Rotary

gilakas’la čɛčɛ haθɛč, We respectfully acknowledge that we live, work and play within the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks Nation.

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