Sydney Ribfest Expecting Record Turnout

July 12, 2017

Cape Bretoners like their ribs.   And, they’re expected to prove it this weekend as the third annual RibFest gets underway at Open Hearth Park from July 14-16​th​.   Sponsored by Cape Breton’s Rotary Clubs, this year’s event is expecting more than 35,000 eager participants.

Five of the most popular ribbers are returning, along with a range of local and travelling vendors that will offer some of the most unique items to savour and save.   Making a return appearance are:  Silver Bullet; Camp 31; Billy Bones BBQ; Crabby’s BBQ and Texas Rangers.   Participants will have an opportunity to vote for the favourite chicken, ribs and BBQ sauce.   There are plenty of sides available to compliment the ribs, and lots of alternatives for those wishing a different taste experience.

Sydney’s RibFest is made possible thanks to many local sponsors as well as regional and national organizations.   Destination Membertou continues its strong support for this event and is this year’s Prime Ribber sponsor.  Sponsorship Chair John Malcom said “From the beginning, Destination Membertou has been a huge supporter, and we are extremely grateful for their involvement as well as that of each of our generous sponsors.”   A complete list of sponsors is available at:​          

“Membertou is incredibly proud to support both the Rotary Club’s Sydney Ribfest and the Hospice Society of Cape Breton, says Membertou Chief Terry Paul. “Through Ribfest, greater access to care and services is available for our community – we are proud to support the people and organizations working to make the event happen.”

Event Co-Chair Sara Burke says that this weekend offers something for everyone.   “It brings the excitement of family oriented fun, a great atmosphere and the thrill of competition over the three days.   Amazing food and great music are just some of the reasons to attend this special event, along with the fact that the proceeds go to Hospice Palliative Care.”

The music, will of course, be memorable!   From Privateers to Pretty Archie, the stage will feature nine Cape Breton bands and individual artists.  The always lively beer tent will be centrally located among the food vendors and stage so everyone will have a chance to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.

This year, as in past years, the Rotary Clubs of CBRM have chosen Hospice Palliative Care as their charity of choice.   Visitors to RibFest have the chance to give a little at the gate for Hospice, if they so choose.   All proceeds will be directed toward establishing a ten-bed hospice residence to meet the needs of individuals and families facing life limiting illness.   The essence of Rotary Clubs is “Service above Self” with a focus on contributing to projects that make a difference in communities.   Members of the Rotary Clubs of CBRM (Sunrise, Sydney, North Sydney and New Waterford) have been sharing skills, resources and time to create a memorable event and will have more than 200 volunteers on site during the three-day event.

For more information and updates on RibFest, including a full list of sponsors, vendors and the musical entertainment that will be on site, please visit​ ​​, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 


Sara Salter-Burke Co-Chair, Sydney RibFest Phone: 902-574-3195