Sugar Cane Development Corporation, the primary economic development business entity of the Williams Lake Indian Band, is proud to announce their plans for a “2019 Summer of Fun.”
Starting them off this summer is the lakecity’s first-ever Ribfest, coming to the lakecity this weekend on Saturday, July 20 in Boitanio Park from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are available now via the WLIB office or online for the price of $5, pre-ordering netting you a free 1/8th rack of ribs.
It is being organized primarily by Kirk Dressler and Daniel Penny of the Sugar Cane Development Corporation.
“We’re totally excited to announce that we’ll be hosting two new events in the city of Williams Lake this summer,” Dressler said. “The first event will be a Ribfest, which is scheduled for July 20 in Boitanio Park. The second will be a Late-Summer Beerfest, which will be held on August 31 at the Williams Lake Curling Rink on the Stampede Grounds.”
Dressler has been working for the WLIB for about a decade now and a chief economic development officer of the SCDC. The Ribfest has been an area of interest for the WLIB and of its business partners over the years after seeing the success of similar events in other communities.
Ribfests are popular events throughout the country, and the Williams Lake Ribfest will be an intense competition between some of the Cariboo’s finest cooks. The focus will be a challenge between a number of restaurants from Williams Lake and beyond, with the participants vying for the honour of being crowned the Lake City’s first ever “Rib Champions.”
“We are in the heart of cattle country,” Dressler said. “So it seems to be a really appropriate fit for our region.”
Overall, Dressler has noticed real positive energy in the community this summer through lots of exciting new events and looks forward to adding this event’s energy to the mix.
Penny said that the Ribfest will be split into three main sections, including a family-oriented carnival games section with lawn games and bouncy castles, music and live entertainment which the rib and other food vendors will surround with a space set aside for non-profits to promote themselves. Overall they have five confirmed rib vendors showing up at the park, though Penny said there may be a few more depending.
He hopes to see close to 250 people show up for this inaugural event and plans to turn it into a multi-day festival in future instalments. Penny encourages anyone interested in taking part in next years Ribfest or even this year’s to give him a shout.
“The Ribfest will be an awesome family event,” WLIB Chief Willie Sellars said. “People will have an opportunity to sample some fantastic food in an outdoor environment. There will be bouncy castles, music and a number of other activities to entertain folks of all ages. This is the weekend of Billy Barker Days, so it’s important that Williams Lake step up its game and provide a reason for people to spend their time and money in our city. We hope that everyone sets aside the block of time from 1-7 p.m. on July 20 to participate in this event.”
Based off of the feedback they’ve received about this event so far, Sellars said this only affirms his and WLIB’s ongoing vision to create more community events, both traditional and non-traditional, for the public to engage with, in concert with their partnerships in the region. He hopes that people will come out to support their local rib vendors and just enjoy themselves with their families.
The Late-Summer Beerfest, meanwhile, is slated for the Labour Day long weekend, on August 31. It will feature craft brewing selections from throughout British Columbia, along with music, food and other activities. It is intended to complement the immensely successful spring Craft Beer Festival but has no direct connection to that event.
“We’re doing these events for a few reasons,” Sellars said. “Firstly, WLIB is passionate about economic development and we love the idea of creating new events and adding new energy to our City and our region.”
“Secondly, we want to support not-for-profit community organizations. We’ll be partnering with the Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association and Big Brothers and Sisters of Williams Lake. Those organizations will provide volunteers to support the event and in return, we’ll be turning all profits over to those organizations. Youth are our future, and Williams Lake Indian Band and Sugar Cane Development Corporation want to give back to the young people of our region.”
Ticket sales for the Late Summer Beerfest will begin sometime this month. Sugar Cane Development is also looking for sponsors for these events. More information can be found about both these events at williamslakeribfest.ca and williamslakebeerfest.ca, as well as on Facebook.