Annual RibFest in Whitby bigger and better this year thanks to $20,000 provincial grant


Published July 4, 2024 at 3:12 pm

Whitby RibFest

The sauce at Whitby’s annual RibFest just got a little richer with $20,000 in funding from the provincial Experience Ontario program.

The money, awarded to the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, will help support this year’s RibFest being held July 12-14 at Victoria Fields near the town’s harbourfront.

“I am beyond excited to have the support of Experience Ontario,” said RibFestPLUS Committee co-chair Kevin Folk. “This helps us to promote and provide programming which grows tourism and showcases Whitby as a destination and cultural hub right here in Durham Region.”

The funding is part of $19.5 million that is being invested in festivals and events across the province through the program.

“The festival and event industry plays a vital role in strengthening local economies in communities like Whitby and other parts of the Region of Durham,” said Whitby MPP Lorne Coe, who added he was happy to support RibFest organizers “who are creating innovative experiences that help Durham residents engage with their communities while creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”

Whitby Sunrise Rotary has organized Ribfest for 14 years, a weekend event that routinely attracts upwards of 50,000 barbecued meat lovers and every dollar earned goes back into the community to help charities groups and individuals every year, added fellow co-chair Peter Bocking.

“It’s time for growth and to change how we do things with a goal of something even bigger and better,” Bocking explained. “We’ll be serving a much bigger crowd and a more diverse palate. We’re celebrating culture, arts, music, refreshments and great food from around the world.”

The Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise and more than 125 volunteers put together the biggest outdoor event in Whitby, with this year’s event promising to be even bigger than ever.

Attendees will enjoy entertainment, a midway experience, a vendor marketplace, a beer tent and, of course a variety of mouth-watering ribs from some of best barbecue joints in North America.

This year’s pit boss masters include:

  • Billy Bones BBQ (Niagara Falls)
  • Silver Bullet Bar BQ (Guelph)
  • Smokehouse Bandits (New Hamburg)
  • Bibbs Texas BBQ
  • Camp 31 (Alabama)
  • Bone Daddy (Michigan)


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