February 28th, 2024

Ribfest returns to the Hat this weekend

By MO CRANKER Special to the News on August 5, 2021.

Haeven Bonter and Tye Skidd from Buckeye BBQ show off their ribbing skills last week in Calgary. Medicine Hat's Ribfest is running all weekend.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

Meat lovers, this weekend is for you.

Beginning Friday and running into Sunday evening, this year’s Ribfest has hopes to be the biggest and best yet.

“This is going to be a great weekend,” said one of the organizers, Andrew Reinhardt. “We have some really great ribbers coming in for this event.

“People will not be disappointed.”

The event will be held in the parking lot at Murray Chev-Cadillac and is run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat, with proceeds from each purchase going to the group.

“We like to tie each event to a service group,” said Reinhardt. “We could do this privately, but we want to create something long lasting, that really is connected to the community.

“We know the Rotary Club in Medicine Hat does great things in the community and we’re really happy to have them on board.”

Reinhardt hopes the event will raise between $40-50,000 for the club.

“We know they will do great things with the money – we’re happy to help where we can.”

Reinhardt says Ribfest has been a tradition around the country for more than 30 years, and he is helping host 16 events across the province.

“We know a lot of people are just looking for something, anything to do,” he said. “We know things aren’t fully back to normal yet, but we wanted to offer this again this summer to get people out and having fun.

“It’s just a bonus that people can support a great cause.”

Last year’s Ribfest ran in a drive-thru format – this year’s will be similar, but a bit different.

Those who wish to stay in their car can drive up and place their order on an iPad. All the vendors and menu items are available on the iPad. Cash, credit and debit are offered. After ordering and paying, drivers can proceed ahead to get their items.

There will also be a walk-up service offered this year, which is similar to what is normal at a Ribfest. Patrons can walk up to their ribber of choice, place their order, pay and walk away with their items.

Reinhardt says there will be a small seating area for those who want to eat on location.

“We know a lot of people will use the drive-thru service and eat at home – that is great, but we know others want that sit-down experience,” he said. “We want to offer both ways, in a way that will be safe for everyone.”

Ribs, chicken and pulled pork will be offered. There will also be a blooming onion truck on site for all three days.

“This food is top-of-the-line,” said Reinhardt. “We hand pick the vendors to offer the best quality.”

Friday and Saturday run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., while Sunday is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“If people want to avoid potential lines, I would say come before 5 p.m. on Friday,” said Reinhardt. “I will say, we can get through orders very quickly. Don’t be scared off by what looks like a huge line.

“We’re super efficient.”

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