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Alliston Ribfest cancelled, Home Hardware picks up the slack

June 14, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

Although the second annual Alliston Ribfest was cancelled over the June 7–9 weekend, Alliston Home Hardware stepped in to ensure residents could still share a meal, and raise funds for a good cause.

Just days before the start of Alliston Ribfest, the following press release was issued by Ricky Brooks, organizer of Alliston Ribfest and representative of BWG Events Group:

“BWG Events Group in partnership with members of Ontario Festival Group is sad to announce the 2nd Annual Alliston Ribfest will be cancelled.

“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. 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 www.ontarioribfesttour.com

“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.”

Stepping up to the plate, Kim Ytsma, co-owner of Alliston Home Hardware and Building Centre came up with a new idea – Home Hardware Ribs for Charity – posting the event to her business Facebook page with tremendous response from the community.

Her supplier, Traeger Barbecues also jumped on board to help with last minute planning.

“Wow! In 72-hours Alliston Home Hardware Building Centre stepped up with the leadership of Kim Ytsma and her wonderful staff to demand the show must go on,” said Traeger sales associate Aaron Kell. “With the announcement of Ribfest being cancelled Alliston HHBC stepped up to Traeger some hot dogs and treats off the grill. With five barbecues going, a DJ, a jumpy castle and [furry friends] on site, it was a great parking lot party!”

“In total 36 full racks of ribs were silent-auctioned off for three local charities – Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Matthews House Hospice, and the Alliston & District Humane Society. Over $1,000 was raised. Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation was the charity that raised the most money from the Rib Auction. Traeger Canada and Alliston Home Hardware Building Centre partnered together to donate a Traeger barbecue valued at $600 for the charity to auction off at their next fundraising event. 

A big thank you to Rosemont Towing & Float Services Inc. for stepping in to help run the barbecue.”

Everyone who attended left with full bellies too, sampling smoked meats and even cookies baked on the Traeger Q’s.

At press time there had been no response from Alliston Ribfest organizer Ricky Brooks as to whether or not the event will be rescheduled, or paid sponsors reimbursed.


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