Friday, August 30, 2013

Downtown Sudbury Ribfest

Downtown Sudbury Ribfest has become a tradition for the city on Labour Day Weekend. And, traditionally, we have always been out of town on this same weekend every year. In fact, we're leaving again tomorrow to visit the kids down south. But this afternoon we were still here and I did a little volunteer work for the festival.

Pat Kemp is a key person managing Ribfest. I met Pat when we worked together on charity Bingo's for Action Sudbury last winter and we talked about our various activities. She asked a while back if I could sell tickets in the beer tent this afternoon and I said sure.

Sandy dropped me off downtown at 11:30 AM. A section of Elgin Street was closed of for the various rib vendors and the parking lot at Elgin and Larch was the beer venue. Pat got me set up, gave me a nice red shirt and introduced me to my selling partner, Rita. Rita is a retired school teacher who winters in Mesa, Arizona and travels the world. We have been many of the same places around North America and, between selling tickets, compared a lot of notes. In fact, her daughter Angie was one of the key people on the Mayors' and Citizens' Task Force On Snowmobiling that I co-chaired twenty years ago. Angie is now married to a retired US serviceman and lives in Surprise, Arizona.

Pat tells me it has never rained on Ribfest before. Well it sure rained today. The low spots in the parking lot started to fill with water and the shore of the new lake started nibbling at my toes before they found a pump to move it to the storm sewers out on the street. Normie, Biker and Johnny O wandered in and ribbed me for a bit. To top it all off, the live music was amazing.

When my shift was over, I took the meal coupons Pat gave me and lined up to get some chow. The coupons were for Ribs Royale so my choice was limited to one. I got 1/3rd of a rack of ribs and a pulled pork sandwich. Then I called Sandy to come and pick me up. She was a bit late because of an accident on the Kingsway, but eventually collected me in front of the YMCA on Durham Street. I killed time while waiting watching people try to parallel park. It looked like an audition for Canada's Worst Drivers, a popular TV show.

At home, we split the ribs and pulled pork. And the beans and coleslaw. The side ribs had a nice flavour but were chewy, much like the ones in Mission Hills, California a few months ago. But the pulled pork, again a bit chewy, had awesome flavour. Sweet, not like the vinegary Carolina pork. The serving was so large Sandy froze what I couldn't eat. I tried to control myself because I was under 211 pounds on the scale this morning, down 13 pounds from the spring, and I don't want a relapse.

So the recap of the day was good. Nice people, great music, free food only offset a bit by rain (rain is easier to take with an awning over your head). If I'm available next year, I think I'll help out again if Pat needs me.

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