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Milton Ribfest 2013 & Craft Beer Festival


by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams

Our journey took us to Milton in Halton Region, about 40 kilometers west of downtown Toronto. Milton is a fast growing community with new housing popping up. The grounds of the Milton Ribfest & Craft Beer Festival took us through a developed mature tree lined area behind the downtown area. Our contact and new acquaintance, Scott Andres, of Scooters Catering and Event Services, invited us to attend this year’s Ribfest. Scott knows about “great food” as Scooters Catering is a full service caterer with 15 years experience in catering and event planning.

The entrance of the grounds was very dusty, but with the ample parking, we didn't complain! We could smell the sweet tasty ribs and chicken cooking by the Rib Teams that had gathered at this very large event. Over 43,000 attend this fun event, so we were also glad we had arrived early. This Ribfest is brought together to help bring the community together. With donations welcomed at the gate, it is a small price to pay for such a great gathering of vendors, food, music and more! All money collected (100%) goes directly to help local foundations. Apparently over $40,000 to date, for the community, has been raise in just 4 years. Volunteers are a large part of the success of this event. Scott tells us with over 125 volunteers work diligently together to make a great weekend for thousands of visitors.

A fun water “ride” was full of laughter with kids and teens rolling in large clear plastic balls in a ring of shallow water. I’m still not sure what the goal was with this game. Kids just kept trying to stand up in the ball, but instead, rolled over and over again. The event grounds were colourful and the midway was busy with people having fun. The music was playing in the main stage. Although the day was young, people were up and dancing in front of the stage. The Craft Beer compound was another busy area. It looked like festival visitors were enjoying the cool flavours of the different varieties available.

With so many Ribbers, the Gary and I always wonder which booth to go to. It was interesting to listen to the others in the line-ups and learn what their “game plan” was. Sometimes I think the longest line-up will have the “best ribs”. Then I start to wonder if the line-up is long because people tend to “follow the leader”. Who knows? The smaller line-ups might just have the best ribs, yet no one knows for sure. It seems that if you “divide and conquer” as a group you can maximize your experiences. Some events allow tasting all Ribbers and then choosing. Friends were going to several booths, collecting  hot ribs and chicken, cold drinks, and fun onion ring and then convening at a common table to share their delicious food. Our plan today was to get two types of ribs, in a “to go” container. We shared one dish of hot sweet ribs and kept the other container to take home, a treat for another day. (We took our own Ontario Visited Festival Tip and had brought our cooler to keep the food safe in the car).

If you are looking for a fun filled afternoon and evening with over 35 bands to listen to, great food and drinks, midway and entertainment, the Milton Ribfest & Craft Beer Festival won't disappoint your expectations! Enjoy!