The annual Northumberland Ribfest and Music Festival was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 but that didn’t stop the Rotary Club of Cobourg.
On Sunday, October 4, 2020 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. the Club held a drive-thru Ribfest at the Best Western Inn and Convention Centre.
Co-chair of the event Roger Tessier said the event was sold-out with nearly 500 orders being processed.
“We’ve had Ribfest for so many years, but this year with COVID everything is so different.”
This year along with the great food including ribs, cole slaw, beans, potato and of course a Rotary cookie, Rotary is giving back more to local businesses.
Customers pre-paid their order and on Sunday they were welcomed as they came into the Best Western parking lot. The first stop was to register with their name and the vehicle is issued a number. At that time a number is placed on the windshield of the vehicle and using a walkie-talkie, Rotary members call in the order and by the time the vehicle drives around the building their order is waiting for them.
Along the way, there were a number of Rotarians thanking people for their support.
For $50 for two orders, people would get a $10 coupon that can be used at 11 participating restaurants. At the end of November, Rotary will redeem the coupons from the restaurants.
“It doesn’t cost them any money at all. That’s the part that we’re really excited about- we’re able to pay back a little bit and thank them for what they’ve done for us over the years.”
With 32 Rotarians helping out this year, Ribfest was so successful the club is planning on having a similar style event with a turkey dinner in December.
The organization of Ribfest this year was so successful and well planned Tessier says with the turkey dinner they will “blow those numbers out of the water.”
This year Tessier said it wasn’t about making money, it was about paying back to the community.
“We will make money, I suspect anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. We have some expenses, but Rotarians themselves donated money so that we wouldn’t have to go to the community and ask for money. So it’s really an all Rotarian way of saying thank you.”