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Border City Connects’ Ribfest to light the grills for another year

The sights, sounds and smells of crackling ribs will fill the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds for another year, as Ribfest will be a go once again.

The event, which raises money for various needs at Border City Connects, will be running for the second year. It will feature the Western Canadian Ribfest Tour cooks, and the organization has been teasing that this year’s event is going to be even bigger than last year’s incarnation of Ribfest.

While Ribfest is returning, it will have to be COVID-safe once again. This means setting the event up for drive-thru servings and physical distancing. Despite this, people will still be able to order a full plate every trip, and return as many times as they’d like.

Marketing Manager for Border City Connects Aaron Buckingham says they are hopeful this year will mark the last having to follow COVID protocols. With residents support, they’re planning for an even bigger future.

“We were really hoping last year would be the first and only year for the drive-thru, but we have to do it one more time. 2022 will be the full-on festival, with beer gardens and bands and the whole nine yards. That’s where we’re getting to, [and] that will be really, really good.

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Buckingham adds that the dates have changed this year. Ribfest will run on Father’s Day weekend this year, which is June 18th to 20th, which he says will hopefully become a tradition in the community.  There will also be a three day, progressive 50/50 with no cap on how many tickets can be sold.

All of the funds from the event will go towards Border City Connects community resources. This could mean money for the Lloydminster Handivan, driving clients to and from medical appointments, both within the city and further away to places like Edmonton or Saskatoon, and senior or people with disability services like the Paragolfer or the Trishaw.

Buckingham explains they’re hoping to beat their record after a successful first year of Ribfest in 2020.

“We’d love to beat, we’ll call it last year’s record. Even though it was just the first year, [we had] just over 3,000 cars come through over the three days. So averaging about a thousand cars a day, which is great, and all the money, of course, going to Border City Connects, to keep the wheels rolling for those people in need.”

The event will run from 11 AM to 8 PM every day of the Fathers’ Day Weekend.

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