In pictures: Smokin' good time as Halifax embraces first-ever Ribfest weekend
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Never mind the ribs; wet naps were the hottest commodity at the first Halifax Ribfest this weekend, and volunteer Eric Mourant was in charge of dolling them out.
“It’s the best job in the world, because everybody needs me today,” Mourant said Sunday.
Mourant is one of dozens of volunteers from the Halifax Harbourside Rotary Club, which helped organize the event that took over a large chunk of the waterfront – and the smoky smell that took over the city – this weekend.
It wasn’t all work, though. Mourant got his fingers sticky too, ripping into racks from four of the six “ribbers” on site.
“I even had some for breakfast this morning,” he admitted.
The ribbers came from all over North America, setting up smokers, grills, signs and trophies from Ribfests won.
Greg Brunton and Billy Bones BBQ, which took home the people’s choice award Sunday night, came from Fort Erie, Ontario – “the heart of barbecue country” – and says Halifax has been more than welcoming.
“The people are outstanding. They’ve supported the event like there’s no tomorrow,” he said Sunday.
Brunton says, given the way Haligonians are taking down half-racks, this will be the first year of many to come.
Half way through a half-rack of his own from ribber Silver Bullet, which won best rib and best sauce, Dale Boudreau said he knows an annual Ribfest would be a hit.
“I can easily see it becoming a new yearly event that would be a staple of Halifax like the Beerfest every year,” he said.
Kyle Davis wouldn’t miss it.
“They’ve got an amazing amount of vendors and there’s way too much food for one human being to consume without being embarrassed,” he said.
“I think it’s a really unique festival, and definitely a great way to kick off the summer.”
Mayor Mike Savage was there Sunday too, saddled with the responsibility of eating six different kinds of ribs, and judging which sauce and which rib was the best, along with five other judges.
“It’s the kind of thing that really brings the waterfront to life, and brings people downtown,” he said before digging in.
“It takes advantage of a lot of the things that make Halifax unique: a nice downtown, the waterfront … and historic buildings, and people eating ribs.”