Two-year ribfest run halted

Ribbers ply their trade during the inaugural Rotary Club Ribfest in 2016. This year’s festival runs from June 22-24 at Kinsmen Park. -- Herald file photo.

After a two-year-run, the Prince Albert Rotary Club’s ribfest is over, at least for now.

According to organizer Duane Hayunga, ribbers didn’t sell enough product to justify coming back to Prince Albert for a third year.

“It wasn’t economically feasible for the rib vendors,” Hayunga said. “That’s the reason they gave me for not returning in 2018.”

According to Hayunga, that was also the case in 2016, after the first annual ribfest. But both organizers and the ribbers themselves thought that perhaps a second annual event would lead to bigger crowds. Unfortunately, it did not.

“I know the club’s revenue did not change from the two years,” Hayunga said.

“It was a lot of work for the club but it was also a fun event, and gave the community an opportunity to participate without any cost, unless you chose to buy ribs. There was a little bit of entertainment and a family atmosphere we tried to create.”

Even though Ribfest won’t be back, Rotary’s other major fundraisers are going ahead as planned. Lobsterfest is coming up on May 12, and the Wine Premier is planned for October.

“Our supporters in the community have been stepping up as they traditionally do (for Lobsterfest),” Hayunga said.

The event has added significance this year. Any funds raised at Lobsterfest will go towards the club’s 100th anniversary project. That project is yet to be determined, but the club wants to support something in the community to celebrate 100 years of giving back.