Two festivals, that are staples to the Greater Victoria Area, return this weekend bringing delicious eats and drinks.
The 10th annual Esquimalt Ribfest kicked off in Bullen Park Friday afternoon.
The event features six ribbers from across Canada serving their takes on classic barbeque ribs and chicken.
Rick Williams, Ribfest co-chair, said the rib trucks are also competing in taste competitions.
“We’re going to have VIPs, about seven of them come up on Saturday,” Williams said. “They are going to sit down and taste all the ribs, taste the all sauces, and we’ll tally the votes and we will find out who the grand winner is.”
He said the event isn’t just about the food. It also aims to raise money for the Esquimalt Firefighters Association through entry donations, beer sales and vendor fees.
“That charity, we put money and resources into a ton of Esquimalt, kids mainly, organizations, but also community,” Williams added.
He said last year the event raised more than $67,000.
“That’s just incredible generosity from people,” Williams exclaimed.
Ribfest also features live entertainment throughout the weekend, as well as clothing and craft vendors.
The Great Canadian Beer Festival is also back at Royal Athletic Park.
The festival was cancelled over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making its return exciting for the brewery and beer-loving communities.
Joe Wiebe with Victoria Beer Society said this year features 75 breweries from across the country.
“We have breweries from Halifax, from Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies all here showing off what they do,” Wiebe said.
Wiebe said there are a number of returning breweries, and a few new ones participating for the first time.
Louise Hage with Salt Spring Brewing Co. said this is the first time the business is participating, and can’t wait to show off its products.
“Our market is definitely Victoria,” Hage said. “So if we can get more people to try our product in the Victoria area that’s great.”
Beer festival participants must be over the age of 19. They will be given a beer tasting glass they can use to test the beer.
The event runs Friday evening and throughout the day Saturday. Tickets are available online.
Organizers from both events are asking residents to plan a safe ride home if they plan on drinking.