The ingredients of warm sunshine, hot music and tender ribs came together on the weekend in a recipe for success at Port Moody’s fourth annual RibFest.
In fact, the three-day event at Rocky Point Park was so delicious, the five professional ribbers from across Canada started shortening their menus late Sunday afternoon as they began running low on meat. They then shut down their giant barbecues an hour before the scheduled 9 p.m. closing when they ran out of food, said Ian MacPhail of the Port Moody Rotary Club, which organizes RibFest.
Even the Rotarians exhausted their supply of 6,000 cobs of corn by 3 p.m. Sunday.
MacPhail told The Tri-City News while the club doesn’t collect hard data for the free event, he estimated attendance was up by about 25% over last year. Greater awareness about RibFest throughout Metro Vancouver and easier access because of SkyTrain and PoMo's new Shoreline Shuttle bus service meant much of that increase may have come from beyond the city’s borders, he said, adding, “I don’t think the park has ever been so full."
Finding out exactly how full and how people got there may be one of the tasks the Rotary Club takes on as it tweaks planning for future RibFests, MacPhail said. Because, as the event continues to grow, they want to ensure everybody has a good experience.
“Our objective is not to stray too far away from our intentions, to preserve the feeling we have today,” MacPhail said.
That feeling includes a beautiful location with a backdrop of mountains and water, live entertainment from 18 bands and a robust kids’ zone with free activities like a climbing wall.
“The biggest thing, it’s a community event,” MacPhail said.