Discover Burlington Ontario

Canada’s Largest Ribfest 2019

by Pam Belgrade

For 24 years, Canada’s Largest Ribfest has become a Labour Day weekend tradition here in Burlington.  So why is it dubbed Canada’s Largest?  Ribfest has an annual average attendance of 182,000, over 150,000 lbs of ribs are sold and over $3 million dollars has been raised by organizers the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore over the course of the event.  Canada’s Largest Ribfest 2019 is held from August 30 – September 2, at Spencer Smith Park.  It features 17 ribbers serving up some of the best BBQ from the South and beyond.  The 50/50 draw is BACK so be sure to keep an eye out for 50/50 shirts if you would like to purchase tickets at the event or go online

Looking for the win!

What’s New at Canada’s Largest Ribfest 2019? 

  • Kids Zone with midway rides,
  • 20 other food vendors, more beverage selections and a water station
  • 500 shaded seats
  • Emerging Artist Showcase – Through the Burlington Arts & Culture Fund, Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Long & McQuade and Yamaha Canada, the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore is pleased to announce the third Emerging Artists Showcase on the west stage every afternoon giving a platform for local up and comers.  .  Congratulations to 2019 Artists – Northbound, Paige Rutledge and Hayley Verrall! 

Tourism Tips

At Tourism Burlington, we like to help ensure your visit to #BurlON is fun-filled so we’ve compiled some tips for making the most of your Ribfest experience.

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead 
With so much to see and do (aside from rib eating), you will want to plan ahead so you don’t miss any of the fun.  Over 50 hours of entertainment is happening on two stages and starts at noon on Friday and runs though to close on Monday evening. You can view the schedule online.  We saw the headliner for Friday night the Dreamboats at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and they were so good!  Make sure you stay for their set starting at 9:30 pm.  There is also a kid zone with midway rides, rock climbing wall and vendors throughout the park.

Go Early and Save 
Get a head start on your rib eating by visiting Ribfest between 12-5pm on Friday August 31 and you can save $3.00 on a half rack dinner which will be available online soon. If you forget your coupon, don’t worry we have them available at our visitor centre at 414 Locust St., stop by on your way down to the park and pick one up.

Ribs, ribs and more ribs

Hate to Wait?

For those you prefer special access, a pubic Club Saucy VIP area is located in the east beverage tent and is open from Saturday – Sunday 1 – 4pm and 6-10pm and Monday 1-5pm. Tickets are $40 per person to include one drink ticket and front of the line pass for ribs and VIP seating in tent. See web page for more details.

Sharing at Ribfest
With so many delicious ribbers to chose from sometimes it’s hard to pick “the one”.  We always try to go in a group so we can divide and conquer. Everyone in our gang goes to a different ribber and then we split them up so we get a little taste of everything.  Friends and family don’t want to share? Opt for a small portion (half rack) and try a couple or bring them home for a late night snack.  We always pick up a jar or two of BBQ sauce from our favourite ribber so we can try to replicate these mouth watering ribs at home.

Bring a friend …split and share!

GO Green 
Ribfest is committed to a 100% green festival, which means lots of re-cycling and composting along with the volunteers from Burlington Green.  The festival have the distinction of being a Festival and Events Ontario “Best Greening of a Festival or Event” award winner.

Think green when you think transportation to Ribfest by considering these eco-friendly options:

  • Cycle to the festival and park your ride in the Bike CorralThe unstaffed bike corral is located at the East Gate at Lakeshore Road and Brant Street, by the Waterfront Hotel.
  • Walk or take public transit.  Check bus schedules here
  • If you drive, consider carpooling and remember that downtown parking is free in municipal lots and on-street weekends and evenings. Details here.

Bike Corral

Be Sun Safe 
We always hope for sunny skies and nice weather during Ribfest because no one wants a soggy event.  Along with all that great late summer weather comes the need to be sun safe.  Be sure to dress for the weather, wear a hat, slap on some sunscreen and stay hydrated and green by packing a re-fillable water bottle.

Enjoy Responsibly 
If you enjoy an ice cold (alcoholic) beverage, please drink responsibly and be sure to have a designated driver or safe ride home (Burlington Taxi, Driverseat Burlington,etc).

Ribfest is @RotaryBurlOnLS largest and most successful community event AND all proceeds go to charity. Canada’s Largest Ribfest is an event you can feel good supporting because it positively impacts the #community! Learn more at their website.

We hope this helps you make the most of Ribfest and if you need assistance planning your visit to Burlington we are happy to help.  Our visitor centre is open daily 8am – 6pm until August 30 and  9am -4pm as of August 31 (including Labour Day Monday Sept. 2)

Canada's Largest Ribfest - ribber

Do have any tips for enjoying Ribfest? Be sure to share them in our comments section.

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