The annual Amacon Mississauga Rotary Ribfest runs Thursday to Sunday at Celebration Square and it has everything to satisfy your taste for barbecue delights and other foods, along with beer, music and an app this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
Now in its 14th year, the Mississauga Ribfest is considered different from the various others in Ontario because of the backdrop of the downtown core.
“One of the things that make us unique is our location, being in the heart of the city,” says Natalie Hart, Ribfest’s Event Co-ordinator. “We are able to run a really green operation, including on-site recycling of organics. Because of that we don’t use diesel generators. We hook up into power. It’s really fantastic what we’re able to do.”
There are 12 different rib vendors, who are called ribbers, from both Canada and the U.S., who proudly display trophies they have acquired from contests at the various stops that are part of their annual tour. If you’re not sure which is the best, you can ask other people who have been there. The ones with the longest lines are usually a good indication of the best, although generally all of the vendors are busy. It’s best to go early. The Mississauga Ribfest has prizes for best ribs, best sauce, best chicken, best beer and the People’s Choice Awards.
In addition to ribs and chicken smothered in sauce, there is also pulled pork, bloomin’ onions, corn bread, roasted corn, beans, French fries and hamburgers. There’s also Asian food, Halal food and poutine. And if you’re looking for dessert, well, there’s everybody’s favourite funnel cake.
There is also a variety of beers and old fashion soda.
Ribfest runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Live music runs throughout the entire event featuring a broad range of acts primarily focused on local talent, including Singfest, an amateur singing talent competition that culminates with the finals at Ribfest.
As part of Canada’s 150th birthday, this year’s Ribfest will include an app that will allow visitors to play interactive trivia at the Square. The app, which was developed as part of ON150 program, can be downloaded for free at the Playstore and ITunes.
The event, put on by the Rotary Club of Mississauga and the Rotary Club of Mississauga-West, attracts about 100,000 visitors. Last year the event raised $159,000 and the money was spread out to over 20 separate community groups such as Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga Food Bank, The Dam Youth Drop-In Centre, The Compass Food Bank & Youth Outreach Centre, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Camp Enterprise and seniors groups.
Some of the money raised has gone towards building the Ridgeway Community Court, which is a partnership between the Mississauga West Club, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Foundation and Jumpstart and Canadian Tire Jumpstart.
For a full list of events, visit www.mississaugaribfest.com.