Kelowna’s Ribfest attracts visitors from all over the province each year, except for this summer.
Organizers have postponed the 2020 Interior Savings Sunrise Rotary RibFest due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing regulations in place from the provincial health officer.
Chris Murphy the chair for RibFest Chair, said the club recognizes it would not be feasible to create a large, safe, family event.
“RibFest Kelowna has raised more than $200,000 for local charities and organizations in the first four years and we had hoped to raise $100,000 this year,” Murphy explained.
Instead, the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise will continue this year with the raffle, with tickets going on sale in June.
“We deeply extend our thanks to everyone, especially our primary sponsor Interior Savings Credit Union, who has supported us from the beginning,” Murphy said. “We know that the community has more needs during these challenging times and will continue to find ways to fundraise. We look forward to working with many excellent people and businesses to present RibFest Kelowna August 2021.”
However, RibFest Kelowna had been met with lengthy protests staged throughout the festival weekend last summer as activists stalled traffic, wrote messages on sidewalks with chalk and had a speaker who focused on climate change awareness.
Kelowna Climate Save protesters stated they believed the charity isn’t doing enough to warrant a festival dedicated to livestock production.
“In the midst of a climate crisis, there’s no room for a rib fest,” 25-year-old Kelowna Climate Save member Tessa Gordey said at the time.
Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise responded that they can’t make everyone happy and that RibFest is a family fun event.
This year the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise will continue to fundraise to support The Bridge Youth & Family Services “Okanagan Youth Recovery House” which is a project to support those under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction.
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