Wooden Buffalo Ribfest feeds and entertains 1000’s regardless of challenges

An estimated 10,000 visits have been made to Snye Level Park through the four-day celebration of meat and music.

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1000’s of carnivores introduced their style for saucy meats, chilly drinks and loud music to the most important Wooden Buffalo Ribfest but through the Labour Day lengthy weekend.

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An estimated 10,000 visits have been made to Snye Level Park through the four-day celebration of meat and music. Days have been stuffed with 1000’s of individuals licking fingers and tearing meat from bones as 4 completely different ribbers served 1000’s of kilos of ribs, hen, pulled pork and brisket to hungry crowds

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Ribbers additionally served meals to the Centre of Hope. Greater than $20,500 was raised for the Northern Lights Well being Basis and Native HERO Basis in a 50/50 draw. One other 1,352 lbs. of meals and $4,175 in money donations have been raised for the Wooden Buffalo Meals Financial institution.

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Wooden Buffalo Ribfest has been round since 2019 however this was the primary yr it was run by F7 Leisure, a Calgary-based music promoter. The group continued its partnership with Andrew Reinhardt of Western Canada Ribfest, who dealt with meals.

Sarath Samarasekera, CEO of F7 Leisure, and Reinhardt mentioned this yr’s occasion had improved safety, fencing, tips, staffing, advertising and marketing and promoting in comparison with earlier years. Some suppliers from earlier years have been additionally owed cash. Samarasekera mentioned earlier festivals have been dealt with in an “advert hoc” means.

“I feel we realized a bit bit about what works and what doesn’t on the positioning and the area,” mentioned Samarasekera. “This can be a nice group and there’s a variety of assist. We’ll be working with the group to see extra of what they need.”

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It’s too quickly for organizers to touch upon what subsequent yr will seem like, however Reinhardt says the pageant’s focus will likely be on bringing as a lot of the group as doable to the group. Reinhardt hopes to incorporate a venue serving Halal ribs subsequent yr.

“A few of my very own recollections rising up, we weren’t very wealthy so we didn’t journey a lot, However going out to the park and having this household barbecue was an enormous deal. I hope we will simply make good recollections.”

There have been challenges, although. Samarasekera mentioned probably the most worrying second of the weekend was when two kids have been reported lacking. Thankfully they have been shortly discovered and unhurt.

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The Trews cancelled their efficiency as a result of lightning had been tracked close by. Organizers didn’t need to threat a catastrophe and closed ribfest.

Heavy smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories blanketed ribfest for a lot of the weekend, nevertheless it was heaviest on Saturday. There have been nonetheless performances from nation music artists Jade Eagleson, Dan Davidson, Teigen Gayse, Tyler Whelan and Jordan Final. Nonetheless, many individuals nonetheless stayed house or solely made transient visits due to the thick smoke.

The remainder of the live shows have been flawless. The Trans-Canada Highwaymen—a supergroup together with Steven Web page previously of the Barenaked Girls, Chris Murphy of Sloan, Moe Berg of Pursuit of Happiness and Craig Northey of Odds—had crowds singing alongside to hits from all 4 of their bands.

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A revamped Trooper closed the weekend as singer David Steele, who changed founding vocalist Ra McGuire when he retired in 2021 with founding guitarist Brian Smith. Steele, together with his almost equivalent impression of McGuire at his prime, bantered with the gang and saved folks dancing and singing. New guitarist Steve Crane matched Smith’s power on acquainted hits which have dominated Canadian laborious rock radio since 1975.

“I’ve seen a ton of optimistic suggestions,” mentioned Reinhardt. “I’m actually excited for what the longer term holds for Fort McMurray.”

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