BBQ Ribs. file photo.BBQ Ribs. file photo.

Drive-thru Ribfest in CK will support Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario

A classic summer event is returning to Chatham-Kent, this time with some COVID-19 modifications in place.

Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario (ESWO) Chatham-Kent is organizing a Drive-thru Ribfest that will take place over the second weekend of June at the Memorial Arena Parking lot in Chatham.

According to Sandra Pidduck, epilepsy educator for ESWO, attendees will get to pick up their food and enjoy it in the safety of their own vehicles or at home.

The event will be entry-by-donation with no fixed entrance fee -- Pidduck said that it is a "donate what you can" model. After making a donation at the entrance, drivers will proceed into the parking lot and purchase an order from the rib vendor of their choosing.

"They can potentially purchase a drink then they will drive around and determine which lane of the three rib vendors they want to go to, purchase their ribs, have them delivered safely to the vehicle and then exit the parking lot," she explained.

All of the money that is raised at the event through the donations will stay in Chatham-Kent and go towards supporting programs and services for local residents that have epilepsy. Pidduck said one in 100 people across the province live with seizures.

ESWO's services are free and the organization does not get government funding, meaning it relies heavily on fundraising efforts and donations.

"A lot of the traditional ways that we would normally request funds or get grants have changed because of COVID-19 restrictions," Pidduck said. "Everybody is struggling especially the non-profits. So this is one way we can continue to provide that programming  within Chatham-Kent."

Pidduck said ESWO is hoping to raise at least $15,000 from the event for local programming.

The Drive-Thru Ribfest will be held at the Memorial Arena Parking lot in Chatham on June 11 from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., June 12 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and June 13 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Residents can expect to see some familiar vendors including Boss Hog's, Silver Bullet Bar-B-Q, and Ribs Royale BBQ.

With similar events taking place in other communities over the past year, Pidduck said the vendors are well prepared to safely work the event and serve their customers.

"[They] actually approached us and said 'we want to come back to Chatham, we love the Chatham environment, we'd like you to host this event as a non-profit.'"

The event is only open to people who are in a vehicle.

You can find more information on the event by clicking here.

Read More Local Stories