The August Rib-Fest Results

A field with whispy trees and the lake beyond at Tudhope Park, Orillia.
Tudhope Park
So yay! We made it to the rib-fest this year, and we're pretty happy that we did. The food was very good, the music was great, most of the organization for the event was well done ... overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

We usually walk the paved pathways through the park, and out along the trail to the narrows, and then back to the park as part of our fitness activities, and we were able to do so on the day of festival, and then head into the center area of the park to check out the vendors. Through most of the park you could hear the music, but it wasn't so loud that you couldn't enjoy it. Along with the food vendors were first aid and safety personnel, a few booths with jew-jaws and tees, a bouncy castle for kids and a few other vendors (oh, ice cream of course!)

The event didn't take over the entire park, which was really nice. When we arrived, we did have a problem with parking (which I sort of expected). There were two "field" parking areas in use past the few paved parking lots which were already completely filled up. For us, it wasn't that big of a deal to walk the extra distance, but there were a few with walkers, canes and wheelchairs for whom those parking areas would have been difficult to use. Fine if someone else is driving you and you can be dropped off at a paved area, but, if you drive yourself then you might not have gotten out of the field without falling.

That's the one area where we thought they could improve. Keep a paved parking area reserved for anyone who requires a wheelchair. Not necessarily for those with handicap stickers (which we have on our vehicle too), but for wheelchairs that can't ride well over a field with mud ruts in it.

The rib vendors from the rib fest in 2017, Orillia.

There were several food vendors to choose from, most offered full meals, but also items you could
choose "a-la-carte". There were several different drink vendors (including the craft beers) so drinkables were available for everyone - it wasn't just beers, though that was a pretty popular spot. Along with the meal options was a large booth offering deep-fried choices (like df chocolate bars, df nutella, etc.) and another offering funnel cake (known in some places as elephant ears). The funnel cake booth had an enormous variety of toppings available, but what you put on yours would up the price.

There was also a very small booth from one of the local downtown restaurants (Era 67). It was so tiny a tucked away between the overwhelmed funnel-cake booth and the long row of rib vendors that it would be easy to miss.

My husband was in the line-up at the last rib vendor to get his ribs (Oak and Barrel), and I was in the line up for funnel-cake ... that's how I noticed the Era 67 booth. I was reading their chalk-board menu while waiting. Very few items on the menu, but they looked pretty good and reasonably priced. On the list was a burger not made with straight up hamburger (prime rib). That was only $5 at the festival, and they had a grilled romain salad for $3. I wish I'd seen that booth before hubby got ribs.

I mentioned it to him, and we bought one of the burgers so he could have it for lunch the next day. They added a sauce to it (which in future we wouldn't get) which rendered it inedible for me, but my husband said the burger itself was amazing, though the sauce was too hot for him. We'd definitely eat at their booth again, and will probably try the restaurant for lunch. A little expensive for an every day dinner, but I definitely want to try lunch. When food is good enough for my husband to be that enthusiastic about it, it's worth trying again!

The ribs, he said were excellent. He didn't get a full meal, just the rib order, and he wasn't able to eat them all. He took a few home and passed them on to our son-in-law next door. They hadn't been to festival yet, and were planning to go Sunday (we went Saturday).

The funnel-cake was also really good ... better than some I've had. Hubby usually can live without funnel cake, but he ate some of mine (oh yea, the funnel cake was what I had for dinner ... don't get it much, and I think that's the first time in a year I've had any) and wanted seconds, and that's rare for him.

If you missed the rib-fest this year, or just didn't think it was worth going for ... you don't know what you're missing. Make sure you get there next time!

The other event we were planning on attending was the downtown Antique/vintage car show and we didn't manage to get there ... AGAIN. Not that we didn't want to, but the hubby was working (yet again). You know, he's retired multiple times in the last 7 or 8 years, and he's still working. BUT (there is always a but) he's retired for good (hah ... I'll believe that when he doesn't go back to work next year) at the end of September, and that should leave more of our weekends free to do things. We'll see how that goes, right?