Lindsay Ribfest & Chili Cook-off


by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams

Located near the historic downtown of Lindsay (now part of the City of Kawartha Lakes) is the beautiful scenic Old Mill Park. This is where the Lindsay Ribfest & Chili Cook-off was taking place. The Trent-Severn Waterway runs close by and many event visitors had come by boat and docked at Lindsay's Lock 33.

Gary and I have had many picnics, over the years, at the Locks along this system of waterway. Today, though we were off to the 5th Annual Lindsay Ribfest & Chili Cook-off!  Parking was interesting as many folks had already found their way to the Ribfest. We discovered a great spot under a shady tree and walked the short distance to the event's entrance. Here the Lindsay trolley bus drove directly by, dropping of more festival goers!

Our contact and the show's coordinator, Rebecca Riley let us know that this year, all the proceeds from the Lindsay Ribfest would be donated to Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes and the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge branch. In addition, they also asked people to bring in a non-perishable food item or a Loonie to donate to the Kawartha Lakes Food Source during the movie night and to their big band night. This certainly is a tribute to the wonderful volunteers who put on this great event!

As we entered "greeters" welcomed us at the event entrance. Here they determine if a festival goer was of legal drinking age. If they were, they were give an "ID Tag". This was a great way to identify visitors that were attending during the periods of time when alcohol was being served. This way it would clearly let servers know who would be allowed to purchase alcohol beverages. Normally at events, event visitors would have to show ID, proof of age, before being allowed in beverage tent. The Lindsay Ribfest organizers said that “ID Tagging” right at the entrance sped up lines at the tents. What a great idea!

As it was early in the day, we had to try the mouth watering ribs will be fired up on the grill. They had lots of choices from pulled pork, hamburgers, fries, and plenty of sugary goodies for your sweet tooth. I enjoyed a great cup of coffee at the on-site McDonalds McCafe truck. We sat and enjoyed some live music.

Although we missed the HD Outdoor Movie, we were told the park opened for families and rib fanatics! Beginning at dusk, they were showing a family-oriented HD Outdoor Movie on a 30 foot screen, (which was chosen by visitors - on Facebook) and had free Kettle Corn for the kids.

Another feature for the Lindsay Ribfest & Chili Cook-off was the Lazy Day Boat Poker Run being coordinated by the Lindsay Ribfest and Buckeye Marine. Participants had the chance to boat throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes, gathering cards at various checkpoints. Once they had a full poker hand, come back to the Ribfest and see if they won a cash prize! Not only was the $20 per hand fee going to our charitable beneficiaries, but, each stop featured a cool giveaway! This Ribfest also featured a rib eating contest between popular media personalities, a Backyard Cook-off, and a Local Organic Farmers Market at McDonnell Park down the boardwalk... a lot happening!

Another new installment at Ribfest in 2013 was a V.I.P. tent for Sponsors! Muskoka Brewery and Kawartha Country Wines had knowledgeable staff on hand to help you pair your meals with the right beverage. In this special section there were some free samples from the Ribfest food vendors and local restaurants. This really gave you an idea of what pairing the right meal with the right drink can do.

This Ribfest clearly is a community collaborative effort. Rebecca tells us that exciting changes are coming for next year’s Ribfest. Don’t forget to check out their great website or check out their Facebook page at Lindsay Ribfest or follow them @LindsayRibfest on Twitter for event details. Make sure you don't miss this great event!