Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 8 p.m., Sept. 19)
Inaugural Orléans Ribfest a finger-licking, lip-smacking success

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Brickyard BBQ ribmaster Reuben Rily cooks up a mess of his meaty specialty during the hugely successful Orléans Ribfest on the weekend. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Apparently, Orléans residents love their barbeque. How else can you explain waiting up to an hour and a half Friday night for a rack of ribs, or standing in the pouring rain for a half hour on Saturday for a “Belly Buster” combo, or a “Hillbilly Platter”.

Those were the scenes at the first-ever Orléans Ribfest on the weekend as thousands of people flocked to Centrum Plaza to enjoy great barbeque, a cold beverage and live music during the three-day event.

Self-professed barbeque lover Aldege Bellefeuille liked the food so much on Saturday that he came back for a second helping on Sunday.

“I love it. The ribs were great. The chicken was awesome. I’m definitely a barbeque guy,” said Bellefeuille, who is a regular at the much larger ribfest held every June on Sparks Street. “This one rivals it, but on a smaller scale. Talk to anyone who’s been here, they love it.”

The Orléans Ribfest is the brainchild of Les Gagné, who founder the Sparks Street Ribfest in 2013 when he was the executive director of the Sparks Street BIA.

With more than 100,000 people living in the area, Orléans was the perfect location for a smaller version of the popular Sparks Street event, says Gagné.

“People prefer to have these types of events in their own backyard, rather than travelling downtown,” he said.

Reuben Riley is the owner and chief ribmaster of Brickyard BBQ, one of four barbeque vendors who were invited to serve up delicious BBQ in Orléans.
Based out of Etobicoke, Riley and his crew have done more than 20 events during the past five months. Out of them all, the Orléans Ribfest was among the most enjoyable and profitable.

“Way, way better than we could have ever imagined,” said Riley. “We went through 23 more cases of ribs than we expected and eight more cases of chicken. Everyone seems to be absolutely thrilled and we’ll definitely be back next year.”

Tex Robert Jr. from Louisiana Bar-B-Que based out of River Ridge, Louisiana, says they plan to come back as well.

“It’s been an amazing show. We’re really impressed. You can guarantee Louisiana Bar-B-Que is going to be back here for you people next year,” said Robert.

The other two vendors – Kentucky Smokehouse out of Louisville, Kentucky and Crazy Canuck Smokers out of Brantford, Ontario – plan to come back as well.

Orléans Ward councillor Bob Monette, who worked with Gagné to help make the Ribfest a reality, is hopeful next year’s event will be even bigger and better.

“What a great success this has been. From what I am seeing, we will have to expand next year in only our second year,” Monette posted on his Facebook page.

That should come as good news to the thousands of BBQ fans in the east end who will no doubt have a tough time waiting 12 months for the event’s return.

Not even a steady downpour could keep people away from the Ribfest, with some rib lovers waiting up to half an hour or more on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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