CORNWALL, Ontario – It is the Thursday of the Ribfest Community Cookout, and residents of Cornwall are eager to get their fill, leaving some restaurants working hard to keep up.
“Ribfest has been awesome. The response and support from the community has been absolutely amazing. We cannot cook enough ribs for the demand, it is great to see Cornwall support a great cause,” said Chef Fabien Clement Lynch of the Hops and Barley Lounge.
Ribfest is the Optimist Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic forced some changes to Ribfest this year, which lead to a partnership between the Optimist Club and Cornwall restaurants.
There are 18 participating restaurants in total. Each with each purchase of ribs at a local restaurant part of the proceeds go to support the Optimist Club, and the customer is also entered into a chance to win $1,000 sponsored by Dr. Rachel Navaneelan and Cornwall Mercedes Benz.
“Being part of this collaboration between restaurants and Ribfest has been a great experience. We’ve been super busy since the first day that it launched on Monday July 20 and we’ve sold out every single day,” said Hassan Rafiei of Schnitzels European Flavours. “We’re going to be serving ribs until Saturday, July 25 or until quantities last and the way it’s looking it’s going to go fast. The community has really come together during these tough times and it’s showing that the city of Cornwall is here to work together and not apart. I really do hope that this is something that could continue on for many many years.”
Ribfest continues over the weekend with professional ribbers coming to Cornwall for a drive-thru service at the Cornwall Civic Complex. The ribbers will be at the Complex Friday and Saturday.