Friday + Saturday 11AM-11PM
Sunday 11AM-7PM

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rotary Ribfest?

Rotary Ribfest is an annual three-day event hosted by the Rotary Clubs of the CBRM. It features great food, top-notch entertainment and a host of family-fun activities in an open-air, carnival-like setting. The profits from the event support the work of the United Way of Cape Breton and Rotary.

Where is Rotary Ribfest being held?

Rotary Ribfest will be hosted at the site of the Open Hearth Park, Ferry St. in Sydney. Nova Scotia.

What are the dates and time?

Friday, July 12
11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Saturday, July 13
11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sunday, July 14
11:00 am – 7:00 pm

What is the cost of admission to Rotary Ribfest?

Admission to the event is FREE, however, we ask that you consider a donation at the gate in support of this year’s Featured Charity – United Way Cape Breton and the Rotary Clubs of CBRM.  All money raised will support the community development work of these two organizations.

Where can I park?

Free parking is available in the lots located on Stable Drive across from the Rotary Ribfest main entrance. Please note that the paved parking lot on Ferry Street, adjacent to the Park, is reserved exclusively for those with mobility issues.

Is Rotary Ribfest an accessible event?

Yes – The parking lot located on Ferry Street, near to and facing the Park, has been reserved for individuals with mobility challenges. Accessible portable toilets are available. The terrain within the Park is flat and the grass surface is closely trimmed. A golf cart is available on-site to help with transportation. If you need assistance, reach out to the parking lot attendant, who will contact those responsible for the golf cart.

Are children welcome?

Absolutely – this is a family event. There’s lots to keep children entertained – the food, the music, a kids’ play zone, local vendors and a host of activities. The Kids Fun Zone is back featuring inflatables, bounce houses, rock climbing and more! Check out the list of activities for the whole family on the Music and Family Fun page of this website.

What entertainers are playing at this years Rotary Ribfest?

Check out the great line up of musicians on the Music and Family Fun page of this website.

Do vendors accept Debit or Credit Cards?

No – Rotary Ribfest is a cash-only event. Two cash machines are located on-site – one in the beverage tent area and another in the Vendor Village area.

What ribbers are participating in this years Rotary Ribfest

Rotary RibFest will feature five travelling ribbers all of whom will offer a selection of delicious ribs, chicken, corn bread, etc. They are: Texas Rangers BBQ; Camp 31; Billy Bones BBQ; Crabby’s BBQ and Pistol Pete’s Smokehouse.

How do I vote for my favourite ribber?

Our visiting ribbers are competing for your vote and the bragging rights that come with a win. Prizes are awarded for Best Ribs, Best Sauce and People’s Choice. You can pick up and cast your ballot for your favourite ribber at the Ribber Voting Tent on-site.

Other than ribs, what other food items are available?

Our food vendors serve various items – e.g., pulled pork, chicken, fries, corn, corn bread, hot dogs, ice cream, salads, beaver tails and much more.

Who are the other food vendors at Rotary Ribfest?

A list of other food vendors can be found on the Other Food page of this website.

Are there non-meat options available?

Yes, vegan pot pies, kettle corn, delicious desserts, fries, poutine, veggie burgers, blooming onions, slushies and other non-meat options.

Can I bring my own food or beverages?

No, we ask that you support the vendors on site. For public safety purposes, bag inspection will be conducted at the gate.

Are there alcoholic beverages available?

Yes, there is a licensed area (beverage tent) where alcoholic beverages are served. You can enjoy a beverage on its own or pick up some food from our vendors and come to the beverage tent to enjoy it with a local beer. Alcoholic beverages can ONLY be consumed in the licensed area. Please note that children, accompanied with an adult, are permitted in the licensed area until 8:30 pm nightly.

Can I bring my dog or other pets?

Please leave your pet at home. In an effort to maintain a safe, clean, and family-friendly atmosphere, pets are not permitted on the Rotary Ribfest site. Exceptions are made for service dogs.

Is there a lost and found station?

The Lost and Found station is located in the Volunteer Tent, just inside the main entrance. Any items found on-site will be left with the volunteer on duty in the tent.

How do I become a sponsor?

Please visit the Sponsor page of this website for information. and contact

How do I become a volunteer?

Please visit the Volunteer page of this website for information or contact We would be pleased to have your help. Many hands make for light work!

How do I register for the Vendor Village?

Please contact .

How do I become a food vendor?

Please contact