Did Ribfest Really Draw More on Friday Night than All of Lift Off 4 Day Weekend? July 27, 2013

rib fest 2013CFN– What is it about Ribfest in Cornwall Ontario that worked so well Friday night when Lift Off crashed in flames?  One wag suggested more people attended Ribfest Friday night than attended the whole Lift Off Weekend.

Was it because Economic Development’s Bob Peters wasn’t allowed to be in the middle?  Was it because it wasn’t clique ran?  Was it because there aren’t any Vegetarian’s in Cornwall?  Was the beer colder?  The Rides better?  Music Better?  More access to dollar store sunglasses for $20 per pair?

No, it’s about community.    With no entrance fee people from all over could come down to the biggest party of the Summer.   Anyone could walk in.   Sure some could not afford to buy some of the premium items, but they also didn’t have to listen to people like Seaway News manager Rick Shaver after a few beers spew about “those welfare bums” not buying a ticket to get in sitting outside of the fence.

Is Ribfest perfect?  Nope.   There were huge issues with the wait time for beer tokens?  What is it about Ontario and Saudi Arabia that you’re not trusted to wander around with a beer like most Country Fairs?

Summertime is when you take a break.  It’s awesome to see friends and family you haven’t seen in awhile and it’s always a blast to party, especially with some good music in the background and at the end of the day does your average local care if it’s Lou Gramm or a local cover band?

And that’s why Cornwall Ontario has chosen its preference for Ribfest over Lift Off even if Ribfest didn’t advertise with two of the largest media outlets in the city (CFN and Corus Radio were blocked out)  and won’t make as much money for organizers as Lift Off did.

Maybe the powers that be in Cornwall can learn from Peterborough’s Musicfest?

The Peterborough Musicfest is a non-profit charitable organization that presents concerts every Wednesday and Saturday at 8:00pm on the shores of beautiful Little Lake in Del Crary Park, downtown Peterborough. All concerts are presented free of charge to ensure that all members of the community can enjoy an evening of entertainment in spite of economic or social barriers.

A secondary benefit of the Musicfest is the large economic impact that the event brings to the community through tourism. A 2010 Economic Impact Study revealed that the Musicfest supplies a $4.8 million impact to the region through hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Because the Musicfest is free-admission, it is funded completely through corporate sponsorship, fundraising initiatives, and private donations as well as through municipal support at all levels.

VIP tickets (“Fest Friends”) packages are available.

The Peterborough Musicfest is proud of the past 26 years and looks forward to its 27th season beginning on June 29, 2013. To learn more, visit our website at www.ptbomusicfest.ca

The people of Cornwall clearly have spoken.   They don’t necessarily want balloons and deep down it’s not about the overpriced ribs as good as they are.    Frankly I went down and I’m not big on standing in line to buy over priced food in styrofoam containers as good as I’m sure the ribs are.

Up and coming Avon Leader Jennifer Shearer (in purple) with some of her team at Ribfest
Up and coming Avon Leader Jennifer Shearer (in purple) with some of her team at Ribfest

I enjoyed my walk around and then headed to a new local restaurant that’s opened, had a yummy meal, and wrote a review.   Local businesses on Pitt Street frankly don’t benefit from the current events at Lamoureux Park which is something that needs to be looked at and solutions found.

Proper management  and true teamworkwork push can lead to awesome events and there’s no reason why we can’t have them in Cornwall too especially with our location and incredible downtown park.

Ribfest is a good start and I’m sure that local promoter Phil Shorey and his Cornwall Seaway Lion’s Club are happy with the results, but if anything should be learned is that the people of Cornwall Ontario really do love a good party and will come if you put one together.

What do you think Cornwall?  Did you go to Ribfest and what was your favorite part?  You can post your comments below.

Cornwall Motor Speedway


  1. I don’t believe not being allowed to wander around with a beer is an Ontario thing. People were allowed to take their beer with them at Bluesfest

  2. Love your comment about Shaver you just made my day. I was there last night and like you could not see myself waiting in line for almost an hour. With 6 BBQ joints to choose from and each having 2 serving lines it was hard for them to keep up with approx.100 ppl per line. I unfortunately took my daughter to a Carnie chip stand where i paid $20 for 2 nugget n fry dinners, I wished afterwards I would of waited in line. As far as over priced ribs I thought the prizes were reasonable for quality food. $22 for a full rack of ribs. I think everyone expects to pay a lil more for food and drinks when you are at an event. I hope the people running RIBFEST dont start trying to tweak it to much and ruin it.

  3. Author

    Kevin the good thing about RF is that it’s a travelling event and the local promoter doesn’t have that much impact.

  4. I would be delighted to attend and indulge in some of those ribs if they were served in an earth friendly container. Honestly…the amount of Styrofoam garbage that one of these events generates makes me shutter. The last time I attended a Ribfest event in Scarborough, Ontario….all the vendors “had to” serve food in paper…….would be delighted to assist in making our local event here greener. Thinking this could also generate a better attendance. Isn’t it time that we all thought about incorporating respect and care for the earth that supports us (or is trying to) in our personal and business routines?

  5. Go greener and bring the attendance up! Lolol

  6. OMG we have this kind of event for ALL of Cornwall and not just the rich, and people are griping about STYROFOAM? Would you rather cardboard to hold the saucy ribs? Can I give you a clue? CARDBOARD GETS SOGGY! Yeah, just how “happy” do you think you’d be if you stood in line, mouth watering just waiting for your turn at ribs, you get your meal, it’s piping hot, so hot as a matter of fact that the sauce is now leaking through your box. Yup. The box falls apart and your ribs are now on the ground. But hey, you’re happy it was a cardboard box. GROW UP YOU IMBECILES! Stay home then and keep your childish whining at home with you.

  7. I believe it is because there is no cost to attend and there is food available. There isn’t a lot of food available at Lift Off.

    Why don’t the Pitt Street vendors move to the park during the festivals? That would solve their lack of shoppers issue.

  8. No need to over think this. Its Cornwall. If it costs money people are going to bitch. If its FREE…..they’ll still find something to bitch about, they may have to look really hard….but they’ll find something.

  9. @BCT….yes I would like an earth friendly container to purchase my ribs. And when someone considers the health and welfare of our habitats, water and air before profit I am happy to support them. I’m certain earth friendly containers can be sourced and purchased to accommodate the ribs and sauce served. Ribfest is obliged to use earth friendly containers in other locals…why not do so here?

  10. No Bob Peters, no Gilles Latour, no Rick Shaver. I can keep on going naming more selfish arseholes but you get the point Cornwall. Success at Ribfest big time, fantastic. See click people, when your not involved what happens? learn from it, you are not needed. Rick Shaver, before you continue calling people welfare bums you may want to take a look at the realestate you take up big boy, you are so ignorant.

  11. Furthermore @BCT…I think it is short-sighted to imply someone is ‘mentally retarded’ for having concern and respect for a healthy planet which is a necessity for all the life that it sustains. We are at a point in time that we need to take a long, hard look at the choices we make every day and how these impact our living earth. After all BCT…there is no “Planet B”.

  12. BCT, don’t be an ass. There are always options to Styrofoam if push comes to shove. All you have to do is go to Farm Boy and you can see more earth friendly containers that don’t crumble from rib sauce. Personally I don’t like eating or drinking anything out of Styrofoam and seeing what containers are being used in the majority of fast food outlets I would say that I am in the majority.

  13. Jackie….give it up!!! Bring your own containers from home,now wasn,t that easy!

  14. Your opinion about Lift-Off “crashing into flames” is very biased and a little over the top. I can name 101 people who enjoyed the FREE family corner that was available for their children, myself included. My niece and nephew had a blast on the rides, playing games and getting their face painted (FOR FREE).

    Your second paragraph is very contradicting via the comment about the overpriced sunglasses. Are you pro Rib-fest or against?

    Cornwall is a small city, we are not country-folk, and thus why people are not allowed to walk freely with their beer in hand at public events. If you really did listen to what Cornwall people had to say about Lift-off you’d know that a lot of them wanted to ban alcoholic beverages all together so their children were not being exposed to ‘drunken behavior,’ so congratulations you just lost 40% of your readers.

    You’re ruining the fun for a lot of people and putting far too much of a negative spin on things.

  15. We attended again this year (on Friday night); the line ups were out to the paths and guess what, I timed it…8 minutes from the end of the line to the front…that’s it! For amazing Ribs (we had Royale). So happy to see Beaver Tails this year and the bands (Rock Alley & Eagles tribute) were absolutely fantastic! I was very impressed with how well organized things seemed to be; garages kept emptied/washrooms plentiful and kept stocked. Way to go! Food vendors overpriced? Sure, but to be expected. I’m sure they paid a hefty fee to be there. See you next year Ribfest:)

  16. i gotta agree with you Jamie on your statement about Pitt street vendors it seems any major evens that happen in the park, Pitt street never benefits from it. The only thing that made Pitt street benefit was the corn fest we had every year and the winter fest with ice sculptures all down Pitt street. I gotta say a lot of the true festivals in Cornwall have really changed since i was a kid.

  17. @Mariah…..I often bring my own containers when purchasing food. If I had a business that used one-time use containers I would most certainly be using a product that is earth friendly. I do what I can on a daily basis to be respectful and mindful of the of the affects my choices have on my community, on my living planet. Here is a link giving more information about Styrofoam Mariah. http://www.earthresource.org/campaigns/capp/capp-styrofoam.html
    The containers from this event will most likely be dumped into the environment as litter. Please also see the following, Pros & Cons of Styrofoam
    This material is notorious for breaking up into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems. “We conserve what we love” and I love and respect our living earth and would be delighted to work with any of the local committees to insure that the garbage generated by such an event is kept to a minimum and is as earth friendly as possible and/or compostable.

  18. It’s nice going to a community event where the main attraction (the ribs) aren’t moved to Avonmore…lmao

  19. you are so negative about everything as one of your readers every day that i have decided to no longer read your online paper or whatever you call it .

    Lions club as done very good with RibFest and Phil Shorey works hard for the Cornwall Seaway Lions and people have nothing but praise .

  20. First off I would like to congratulate the lions club for pulling off such an event, without the big shots of Cornwall. Not going to name anyone.

    Second off this is a fundraiser for the club. Many areas do it, and it is not targeted at any one group of people. It is great that there is no admission charge. If there was, then the crowds would be a lot smaller. And before anyone really judges this event, they should travel to Kemptville, Brockville, or Ganaoque and see their events. They all have no admission charges, and draw many people. All have music, family and kid events.

    Now as for the price of food vs quality. I have to really chime in here. There is many different prices based on what you want to order, and how much you want. You can get as little, or as much as you want. You can get side or skip that all together. Now as for quality. It may not be a backyard BBQ standard, or a pro BBQ team quality. But it is not suppose to be. This is a competition based on fan choice and celebrity judges, and they are ribbers and that is what they know. There is no rules, or regulations to what the do. I myself go there to try different things, but I know what I like in BBQ.

    Now as for joining the 2 events. I think that would be a very bad thing for the rib fest. Lift off would kill this event in a few years. Lift off is after money and music, and don’t seem to care about the balloons anymore. So why would they care about the ribbers.

  21. CFN – ‘What is it about Ribfest in Cornwall Ontario that worked so well’

    Probably it was the RIBS guys, it was all about the ribs. All this other stuff sure must be part of this years diaries, yet, there ain’t nothing like a mitt full of luscious, delicious ribs. And I must say, what a smart idea to have used those Styrofoam condiments, but wouldn’t bone china ……. okay, okay, I’ll stop there.

    Too bad about the rain out Sunday but was it packed on Saturday or what…… fabulous event.

    Best Lions even ever….and all other participants too! Thank you Cornwall…..you guys sure pulled it off.

  22. Personally I am impressed with any event of this size that is planned and pulled off, Rib Fest even Lift Off. The people who are able to work together and execute any of these events should be commended. I can just imagine the disagreements that have to be resolved, details that have to be thought out … finances to be considered etc etc … Pat yourselves on the back, you have done a fine job.
    …. And to those organizers … here is some wise advice someone once gave me .. Ignore the tone of the your critics, sift through the debris and find any useful information to improve.

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