The BBQ is smoking at the Lloyd Ex grounds this weekend as the Ribfest Tour rolls into the Border City for Father’s Day weekend.
Organizers are committed to an annual event for the next five years in support of local non-profit Border City Connects.
Four BBQ teams are in town this weekend to serve up all of your favs on the grill. Jaime Williams is with Camp 31, one of the oldest outfits in North America. They still have a Roadhouse at their base in Alabama and one in Paris, Ontario.
Camp 31 has a busy schedule that takes them from Newfoundland to Alberta as well as the United States. Williams is looking forward to their five year commitment in Lloydminster.
“We are preparing to transition to a traditional Ribfest next year, with regards to the rib teams getting closer together. It’s walk up, there’s dining tables, there’s a stage, there’s beer gardens and [entertainment]. It is a phenomenal event when life goes back to normal. I think the City of Lloydminster will absolutely look forward to this every weekend on Father’s Day.”
Williams wouldn’t tell about the secret ingredients, but he fessed up on their famous sauce that has stood the test of over three decades.
“We’ve had the same sauce recipe for 35 years. Our same award winning dry rub. It’s available for purchase online. Smokin’ low and slow is real important. We don’t rush anything here. It’s all done with care and dedication.”
Michigan’s Billy’s BBQ is the next team grilling at Ribfest. Emma MacIsaac says their team is here for the long haul with their headliner.
“Honestly when it comes to our family feast, the Big Billy, there’s nothing better you can buy. Our ribs, our chicken and our pulled pork. You literally get everything you could ask for. Even a bottle of sauce to take home for the family.”
The BBQ circuit is a big deal for the chefs who take the heat at the grill. MacIsaac talks about what it means for her outfit.
“We’re going to showoff our barbecuing talents [and] our smoking talents. Honestly we just love to be part of the community at the end of the day. It means that we can express and show all of our appreciation for a fine dining.”
Buckeye’s BBQ Kraig Roe is back for their second year. They have a 15 year track record on the BBQ tour. Hailing from St Louis, Missouri, they bring a passion for the Barbecue circuit.
“We are a really tight knit group of people. We try to help each other out, but its a competitive circuit as well. We really care about the preparation of the food, the cleanliness and the look of the banners and the rig itself. We wanna have a really nice presentation and we want the people to pull in and be impressed when they see what we do.”
The Barbecue touring community strives for consistency of their product. Roe says they are preparing thousands of meals, but they all have to taste the same. He says there’s no secret ingredient.
“There’s no secret. We just do what we do right. We’re all about St. Louis style ribs and we really want to maximize the amount of flavour and taste of the actual ribs themselves.”
Oklahoma’s Pistol Pete’s Smokehouse is back in the Border City with their signature flavours. They have been doing the BBQ circuit in Canada for the last three years. They are always on the road even as they work on a brick and mortar location in the States.
Owner Mitchell Russell says you don’t want to miss their flagship meal.
“We love our Shotgun Special. It’s a little bit of everything. Two racks full of chicken. Two pounds of pulled pork. A big tub of beans. Two cornbread and we even throw in a bottle of our sauce for you.”
Russell says that bad boy feeds a family of six and a lot of people freeze it at home for another time. He says he loves the support of the Border City and area.
“From the first turn out we had here, it blew us away. We were expecting a small town turnout and we got a big city turnout. It’s amazing when you get a community to come together and support these local events.”