by Bob Groeneveld/Special to the Langley Advance
It’s going to be a party.
It’s going to be a whole weekend.
It’s going to be a RibFest.
Organizers from Langley’s four Rotary Clubs are expecting tens of thousands to converge on McLeod Athletic Park – at 56th Avenue and 216th Street, next to Langley Secondary School – in the middle of August this summer.
The main draw to the community family event will be some of the finest ribs that Canada has to offer. But there will be lots more for the whole family.
Five championship rib BBQers from across Canada, will bring their semi-trailer BBQ rigs to Langley for the Aug. 17 to 19 festivities.
The shortest trips in will be made by Guerilla Q from Chilliwack and Smoke and Bones from North Vancouver.
Saskatchewan is offering up Spice BBQ from Pilot Butte, and two rigs will be coming all the way from Ontario: Boss Hog’s BBQ from London, and Gator BBQ from Woodstock.
“These professionals will pull into town with semi-trailers that magically unfold into seven-metre-tall by 12-metre-wide BBQ rigs,” explained Jeff Morfitt, a member of Langley Sunrise Rotary and the chair of the organizing committee that includes vice-chair Travis Strain of Langley Central Rotary and members from all four local clubs, including Langley Rotary and Aldergrove Rotary.
In addition to the ribs, some of the concessions already lined up for the event will serve up shave ice, lemondade, French fries, hotdogs, smokies, mini-donuts, ice cream, and candy floss.
“We will have almost 100 square metres of shaded area for watching entertainment on a Main Stage in comfort.” said Morfitt. “Bring your lawn chairs.”
Another 700 square metres of covered area will house both adult and family beverage gardens.
The effort is being supported by an impressive – and growing – list of sponsors, led by a joint sponsorship by four local credit unions: Aldergrove CU, Envision, Prospera, and G&F Financial. Mitchell Group is the Main stage sponsor, and Miracon (of the Mitchell Group) is sponsoring a kids zone.
JD Farms and Krause Berry Farm are sponsoring a Corn Hut, and Otter Co-op, which is planning to open a new liquor store at its 248th Street and Fraser Highway location, will sponsor the beverage gardens.
Other sponsors already signed up include Jelly Marketing and PR, Sunbelt Rentals, Super Save Group, Valley Traffic Systems, CBM Lawyers, Johnston’s Pork, Diwali Auto Group, and Langley Township.
Morfitt, a retired Langley businessman, noted that it will require a massive volunteer effort to put the event on, as evidenced by other successful RibFests across BC, held in Port Moody, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops, Penticton, and Comox Valley.
He and his committee – “Rotary members dedicated to helping make life better for those less fortunate, locally and around the world” – are expecting 40,000 guests to participate in the three days of rib feasting and celebrations.
A Langley RibFest website is expected to be up and running by May 18. Volunteers will be able to sign up there.
“The four Rotary Clubs of Langley are working together to make this a memorable and successful event,” Morfitt said. “Because Rotary is 100 per cent volunteer, 100 per cent of the proceeds from RibFest will go to fund the many Rotary Service Projects in Langley.
“It will be a major event for Langley and for Rotary,” Morfitt promised. “Langley is a great place to live, and we want to make it even better.”