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Vernon Ribfest dries up for 2024

Popular festival won’t be around this year; organizers announce postponement on social media
Sauce drips off the grill at Boss Hogg’s BBQ during Vernon Ribfest 2023, held July 7-9 at historic O’Keefe Ranch. The Vernon Ribfest organizers have announced via its webpage there will be no such festival in 2024. (Jennifer Blake Photo)

The flame has been doused on a popular Vernon barbecue.

Vernon Ribfest has announced via its webpage there will be no festival in 2024.

“We regret to inform you that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the beloved Vernon Ribfest will no longer be a part of our community’s festival lineup,” said Ribfest on its website. “We are immensely grateful for your past participation and look forward to potentially exploring new opportunities in the future.

“Thank you for your understanding and continued support.”

The event moved to Vernon’s outskirts, into neighbouring Spallumcheen, in 2023 when the three-day barbecue featuring professional grilling teams was held at historic O’Keefe Ranch.

Teams that took part in 2023 included returnees Boss Hogg’s BBQ and Gator BBQ. Grizzly BBQ made its Vernon debut in 2023.

The 2022 event was moved to Swan Lake Market and Garden as the local business stepped up at the 11th hour when it appeared a venue could not be secured.

The first Ribfest took place in July 2019 at the Vernon Curling Club and Centennial Outdoor Rink, hosted that year by the Vernon Elks Lodge.

Live music, barbecue sauce competitions, and other food vendors were featured during each Vernon Ribfest.

Rib enthusiasts can still get their fangs on some meaty ribs products this summer.

Kelowna Ribfest will run July 5-7 at City Park, and the Kamloops Daybreak Rotary Ribfest will take place Aug. 9-11 at Riverside Park.

The Rotary Club of Penticton shut the grill door on its Ribfest for 2024, citing a lack of volunteers and rising costs for the cancellation.

READ MORE: Vernon Ribfest branches out to ranch

READ MORE: Saucy Vernon publisher licks Ribfest media competition

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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