Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the first post in an irregular new feature that involves me walking

My usual daily jaunt around town most often involves walking along the waterfront, or at least through part of the park on the waterfront.

I wasn't going to let a little thing like a crowd stop me from my enjoyment.

Some years, I sat on my balcony and if the wind was blowing the right direction, the smoke and aroma of the Ribfest wafted over my way. I would look down on the street below - before the trees grew up to obscure the view - and see dozens of people walking home with white styrofoam containers stuffed with delectable ribs, or corn, or whatever it was they stood in line for many, many minutes to purchase.
I'm not even remotely fond of ribs, but it would be enough to entice me down from my quiet contemplation to immerse myself into the crowd that had gathered to eat, listen to music, buy stuff, and enjoy the novelty of being able to walk around outside with a plastic cup of beer in hand.

I'm also not overly fond of crowds, but love to see events like this enjoyed by so many people. Since I'm not buying and live so close, I can simply leave when I've had enough and sit at my favourite cafe and watch the people who wait patiently for the free shuttle bus that will take them to the far flung places where they have (thankfully) parked their cars.

One can never be too overdressed for buying ribs. Now how long before that bus...
This group was the last to get on this bus... it would take 2 more buses to pick up the rest of the seemingly neverending line that snaked down the block and around the corner.

Once they all cleared off the sidewalk, I headed back home to my potato salad and my own not-a-$5-Coors-Lite-8oz-beer.
"Four days of warm weather and sunshine brought over 175,000 people to the 14th Annual Canada’s Largest Ribfest in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario - Crushing last year’s attendance record of 148,000.
An astonishing 150,000 lbs of ribs consumed over the weekend!
The venue, entertainment, 18 rib teams from across North America, attendance, ribs consumed and money raised for charities makes Canada’s Largest Ribfest the “Super Bowl” of Ribfests across Canada.
The organisers from The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore were also elated to raise an estimated $320,000 for local charities. Over the last 14 years, total money raised is now over $2,170,000."
~from website

33 comments:

  1. I lost track of when these sorts of things stopped being community celebrations and started being community gouge days. We have a rib fest in St Catharines too and many of the makers travel all summer to these things and don't actually have a restaurant or BBQ at home anywhere. I guess they are the carneys of the new millennium.
    Of course the wine festival soon to arrive in St Catharines is nothing like that.

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  2. I loves me some ribs, yes I do! But I don't like crowds, so I prefer to grill my own, in the comfort and sanity of my own backyard. My beer doesn't cost $5 either!

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  3. I adore ribs when they are cooked right - but I hate large crowds too. Hope you had a great time.

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  4. I don't eat ribs, of course, but I have always liked comunity festivals.

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  5. Jazz: too much sauce on too little meat, for my liking.

    Bandobras: no, there isn't much local representation, but it does raise a huge amount of money for local charities.
    and the phrase "are you going to Ribfest?" replaces the mundane "beautiful weather, isn't it?" and there is at least a lot of community participation.

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  6. Susan: everything is always more expensive at these kind of events.

    Char: well, it helps that I only live five blocks away, so I can wander in and out at will just for a taste (so to speak) of the atmosphere.

    SAW: and it's all FREE, so why not be supportive and have your presence counted. I did have some corn on the cob the first night.

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  7. Burlington? Hey, I've been there once many years ago to visit the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters. I came there during a snowstorm though! No rib festival at that time.

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  8. Oh that does look like fun, even for ribs! We used to have a Blues Brews and BBQs fest here but its not happened for a few years now..

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  9. I dislike crowds, even more so now I have to walk with a crutch (though it is handy for accidentally knocking those legs that get in my way!! ;) )

    But it must be great to live so near, join in if fancied and watched from afar when "peopled out".

    I think 175,000 would have been a bit too many for me! But looks as if they were all enjoying themselves!

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  10. It's cool that is was right by your house. When I go to the Main Street Arts Festival I'm always jealous of the people who live downtown.

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  11. LGS: next time you visit, make sure it is summer, we virtually never have snow storms then.

    Sagittarian: every year this event gets bigger and bigger. soon it won't fit in the park, which would be a shame. something gets lost when festivals become too popular.

    Gilly: remember this was over 4 days, so it wasn't all that bad (unless you stood in a long line)

    Geewits: I LOVE where I live

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  12. I love ribs and I love the sauce, so I would have been very happy there, but I would not have spent 5 dollars on a Coors Lite. Events like these show some real community spirit and are good for the charities the money is being raised for. I wish there were something like this here. Ribs...mmm.

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  13. I find these new ribfest trend kind of gruesome. Hoardes of people consuming gigantic slabs of meat...makes me shudder. Surely we would think of something a bit less barbaric to fest about?

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  14. Irene: I had a Heineken at home.

    XUP: a corn roast?

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  15. How nice that you can just walk down to the center of town and join in or not!...I will be looking foward to going on more walks with you:)...I can live without ribs too...

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  16. I have long had, what I consider to be, a very healthy loathing to red meat. However, I do agree the smell can be such a seductive attraction..
    Love the pics.

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  17. Ya, whatever happened to a good old fashioned corn roast?

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  18. Can I have your ribs then? I mean mine and yours?

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  19. Oliag: having you (and everyone else) along will make it so much more enjoyable

    Meggie: when I gave up being a vegetarian, the first thing I ate was bacon - and lots of it. the smell was always enticing.

    XUP: maybe it became too old-fashioned. shame, really.

    Ruth: if I have to stand in line, then I will eat one, but yes, you can have the rest.

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