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Alliston Ribfest back on following June cancellation

July 26, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir and Wendy Gabrek

The Alliston Ribfest is back on – this time in September.

On Wednesday, the Nottawasaga Detachment of the OPP announced the event would now take place at Riverdale Park on September 20 – 22.

Events will get underway Friday, September 20, from 12 noon through 11 p.m., resuming on Saturday at the same time, before it wraps Sunday, September 22, from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Earlier this year, organizers were eager to lay the groundwork for the second-annual Alliston Ribfest, but were left disappointed when The Town pulled the plug just four days before the event was set to begin, leading to a public disagreement between organizers and the police department.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, from the Township of New Tecumseth and Nottawasaga OPP the event can no longer proceed. We made every effort possible to ensure the event went as planned and had the unfortunate notice from The Town of New Tecumseth they had to cancel the event on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 4 p.m.

“Despite our repeated efforts to fulfill the OPP’s requests for information, they have said they ‘cannot process’ our application for duty officers at the event,” said organizers at the time. “Without duty officers, the township will not let us proceed.

“As a community-oriented event, Ribfest depends on the support of major stakeholders like the township and OPP. Without that support, and with the OPP declining to work with us on the supply of duty officers, we feel unable to continue hosting this event in Alliston.

“We would like to thank our sponsors, vendors, entertainers, patrons, and festival goers for your tremendous support and look forward to seeing you at our other locations. For future dates, please visit us at

“BWG Events Group is a non-profit organization that since 2013 has put our heart and souls into bringing Ribfest to multiple communities across Ontario. We have raised over $86,000 for charities including PC Children’s Charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Matthews House Hospice, Kerry’s Place and many others who have benefitted from our dedication to organizing thee community festivals.”

The Nottawasaga OPP responded with a press release of its own:

“Despite extensive follow-up and consultation by members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Nottawasaga Detachment, the event organizers failed to adequately complete the necessary Paid Duty Request Application within reasonable time expectations and thus hampered the OPP’s ability to identify available officers within the restricted time frames. It is the event organizers direct responsibility to ensure that applications for paid duty requests be submitted to the OPP with the mandatory information related to the event and specific details to what resources are being requested in a timely manner.

“Nottawasaga OPP regrets the Alliston Ribfest was not able to proceed and remains committed to maintaining overall safety and security at all future community events.”

In the meantime, however, Alliston residents were able to enjoy ribs anyway after the local Home Hardware stepped up to the plate with an event of their own.

Dubbed “Home Hardware Ribs for Charity”, 36 full racks of ribs were auctioned off at the event, raising over $1,000 that was then shared between Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Matthews House Hospice, and the Alliston & District Humane Society.


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