What began with a random email to the Cornwall Seaway Lion's Club, early last fall, has grown into what could be the next great summer festival in Lamoureux Park.
It all came about when "Gus," the owner of Texas Rangers BBQ contacted the service club regarding hosting a Ribfest of their own, said Terry Muir, Lion's Club event chair.
"He had seen Lamoureux Park and thought that it would be a good venue, and wondered if the Lions would be interested in getting involved. I answered the email and away we went," said Muir.
Free to the public, the three-day event featured six award-winning "ribbers" originating from Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, all vying for the public's appetite for BBQ. A great line-up of performers included Marshall Dane and the Law, Abbamania, CCR and Queen tribute bands, along with local acts, TrenchTown Trio, Switchgear and No Exit.
Muir was surprised and elated at the community's response from the first night. "We thought, 'Well, we'll get some ribs and listen to some music,' but it turned out to be a little more than that."
Muir who estimated that between 13,000 and 15,000 people showed up on that first day, said that he couldn't believe the turnout. Originally organizers were hoping to get 10,000 people throughout the weekend but after the first night, they were crossing their fingers in anticipation of 30,000 to 40,000 for the weekend.
Other attractions during the weekend included, The Chainsaw Lady from Dunvegan, Portraits of Honour artist, Dave Sopha, vendors, artisans, beer garden and a midway.
Along with it being a great event for Cornwall, Ribfest is a fundraiser for the service club, said Muir - who was hoping after all was said and done, to have some money left over to help people in the community.
Other local service clubs including The Children's Christmas Fund, who held a BBQ of their own and the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion who served breakfast were given space at the event to raise money for their causes. "It's all about sharing," he said.
Muir is very enthusiastic about this becoming an annual event for the Cornwall Seaway Lion's Club.