ribsOwen Sound Ribfest, owned and operated by Ribfest Promotions Inc., announces cancellation of their upcoming September 2016 event and future events in the series.
"We set the 2016 dates, September 16-18, tentatively. We wanted some time to  think and discuss our plans for the event, if any, rather than making the announcement at the end of the 2015 event" said co-organizer Ray Uotila. Ray and Nicole Uotila began the event in 2011 and it has run consecutively the third weekend of September, since.
"The event has grown so large, so quickly, it is more than what two people can manage. The planning, phone calls, emails and paperwork is year-round," said Uotila, adding, "Even in the slow months there are details to attend to, almost daily."

"We're very pleased with what we've been able to accomplish. I said back in 2011 that we would become Grey County's largest annual event and we did that," said Uotila. 2013 saw the event's highest attendance with over 40,000 people attending over the three-day event. Uotila cites the event's success and five-year run on the support of sponsors, volunteers, the rib teams, vendors, contractors and suppliers, great entertainers and its many loyal and enthusiastic attendees.
"The workload on Nicole and I is the single largest and most obvious factor in our stepping away from the event" said Uotila, adding "But significant cost increases and fees over the last two years combined with the loss of two major sponsors for the 2015 event were a factor".
As for the future of Owen Sound Ribfest, Uotila responded: "We've talked with service clubs and other groups
when we were creating the inaugural event, as we've grown and again more recently. Typically we hear that they are stretched with their own initiatives and can't commit to something so big. It's part of the reason we started it; we knew if we didn't do it, no one else would."
Uotila stated that he and his wife, Nicole would work with interested parties or groups to keep the event going, as they would prefer to see it continue.
Owen Sound Ribfest ran for five years, 2011-2015, without any city, county, provincial or federal funding.

source: media release, Owen Sound Ribfest



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