Kinsmen Ribfest brings feast of sight and sound to Centennial Park

Lillian Bernard, 11, granddaughter of Tom Bernard, samples a rib. Glenn Ogilvie

Jake Romphf

That smoky cyclone swirling lazily above Centennial Park could mean only

Tommy Edwards applies the finishing touches to some ribs and chickens at Sweet Smoked BBQ.
Glenn Ogilvie

one thing – Ribfest was back.

The Sarnia Kinsmen Ribfest drew good crowds to the waterfront July 5-8 for the traditional blend of live bands, vendor stalls and, of course, barbecued meat.

While tucking into a rack from Jack the Ribber, diner Cathy Yates said she’s glad Ribfest had returned to its original home in Centennial.

“It’s a lot better, and easier for people to get to,” she said.

Others, including Heather Levens, agreed.

“It’s in a park, not a parking lot which is always a big plus,” she said. “It’s family friendly.”

Worker Aysha Stein of Sweet Smoke BBQ said Sarnia is one of her top stops on the summer ribbing circuit.

“We normally have a great turnout,” she said Friday, following an opening Thursday night interrupted by thunderstorms.

Daryerlin Gonzalez holds up a sign for potential customers at Gonzalez BBQ, headed by father and rib master Jorge Gonzalez.
Glenn Ogilvie

Jorge Gonzalez, of Gonzalez BBQ, had his whole family involved in grilling ribs over apple and cherry wood, brushed with a sauce packing an “extra touch” of Latino flavour.

“I came to Sarnia to win a trophy,” he said.

The event also saw 18 bands perform on an expanded stage over the four days.

Bryan and Anne Watson, of Strathroy with grandson Parker, 5, were camping in Moorertown when they decided to check out Ribfest.

Pondering the choices are, from left; Cheryl Megeney, of Brights’ Grove, her niece Erica Pirnie and mother Donna Pirnie of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Glenn Ogilvie