Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Penticton’s Ribfest is coming back this year.

The Rotary Club of Penticton will host Ribfest Sept. 17 to 19, and for the first time the event will be held at Skaha Park.

“We’re excited to do it,” said Barb Hoolaeff of the Rotary Club of Penticton. “We had a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and we are now going forward following Public Health Office safety guidelines. We’re very excited to bring it back after one year out.”

The change of location allows the Rotary Club of Penticton more room to spread the festivities out, plus there will be more shade and parking and there is no conflict with other events. The exact layout hasn’t been set yet, but the nearby playground is being taken into account to allow the festival to better accommodate families with children.

Plus, the proceeds from the Ribfest are going to rebuild the Splash Pad at Skaha Lake Park.

“I’m very pleased to hear that the annual Ribfest event hosted by the Rotary Club of Penticton has been successfully scheduled for 2021,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki who attended the announcement at Skaha Park on Thursday.

The new southern location is also part of the city’s push to expand the city’s offerings, not only in locations for events but also over the period that the city is open for.

“We’re trying to build up the south end of the city with events similar to what happens on the north end. This is the most gorgeous park you can find in the valley,” said Vassilaki. “We want to continue with the summer business past August, so we can become the year-round playground of the Okanagan Valley, and own the title of King of Festivals better than ever before.”

Ribfest will have live entertainment starting mid-afternoon and running into the evenings, activities for children and a beverage garden featuring local breweries and wineries.

READ MORE: Gator BBQ boasts best southern smoked ribs at Penticton’s Ribfest

Ribfest will also be welcoming back the trophy winners from the past, including Gator BBQ, one of the oldest ribbers.

“We are so happy to be on the road for Penticton Ribfest in September,” said Matt Smith of Gator BBQ. “We are totally looking forward to cooking barbeque for you.”

The event can’t go without the support of the community, and the organizers are looking for volunteers to help make it a reality.

“We do need quite a volunteer army to pull this off,” said Hoolaeff.

If people are interested in volunteering for Ribfest, they can email Vendors and entertainers can contact and For other information, email

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Penticton Western News