(Video: Alma Sandoval Betancourth/Alma Latina Online Magazine)

By: Sukaina Jamil

The sporadic cold days of an elongated winter seem to have finally passed in Durham Region, meaning that summer is officially here and with it, the annual Ribfest held in Pickering’s Esplanade Park. The activities at Ribfest were kick-started Friday at noon and will continue throughout the weekend, coming to an end on Sunday.

This is the eleventh year that Pickering has held its own Ribfest, with the number of vendors and attendees only growing. Featuring the best that Durham Region has to offer, vendors include Sticky Fingers, Billy Bones, Vesuvius Pizza, BLOOMIN ONION, BEAVERTAILS and more. Crowds of friends and families gather together to get their hands dirty with great food, a sea of smiles on faces covered in sauce.

As with every year, the organizers of Pickering’s Ribfest have something new in store for their attendees. Staying true to Canadian roots, this year they have introduced the Butter Tart Frenzy! Hosting butter tart vendors from all across Ontario, the event will hold the frenzy on Sunday from noon until 6:00 PM. Vendors include Sugar and Spice Catering, The Buttertart Guy, A1 Gluten Free Bakery and many more.

Although it seems like all of this food is more than enough to draw in large crowds, the organizers of the Ribfest have also got a lot of entertainment in store for anyone who chooses to attend. Kicking off the entertainment on Friday are the bands The Mac’s, Charles Street Band and Too Drunk to Fish Band. Alongside the live music is The Fire Guy, a fire busker putting on a performance beginning at 8:00 PM. Throughout the weekend there will also be music from the Full Count Blues Band, Who Stole the Cookies and a Liverpool 4 Beatles Tribute and more, along with performances by many comedy and fire performers. A full list of the event’s entertainers can be found here.

Still not convinced? Check out some of our photos from Friday in the video above and see if you can stop yourself from heading out for some delicious eats and live entertainment.