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Vernon Ribfest branches out to ranch

Three-day event with three rib teams runs July 7-9 at historic O’Keefe Ranch

It’s a sticky, sauce-dripping, lip-smacking great time.

And it returns to the outskirts of Vernon in July with one more professional team and a new location for 2023.

Vernon Ribfest will take place Friday to Sunday, July 7-9, at the historic O’Keefe Ranch off Highway 97 in Spallumcheen.

The event took place in 2022 at Swan Lake Market and Garden.

“The event will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily,” said Elaine Gallacher with the Ribfest committee. “This community-sized barbecue features award-winning professional barbecue chefs from across Canada, a fun-filled music and food festival that has something for everyone.”

The professional ribbers taking part include returnees Boss Hog’s BBQ and Gator BBQ. Making their Vernon Ribfest debut is Grizzly BBQ.

Other food vendors will include Gord Oh’s; Kamui Japanese Curry; Tasty Taco’s and Tator’s; Mystic Pizza; Okanagan Mobile Mini Donuts (Friday to Sunday); Rusty Cow Ice Cream (Friday to Sunday); and Sugarbee’s Ice Cream Bike (Friday only).

It’s free to get onto the ranch grounds, though a donation at the gate would be appreciated.

“This is a rain or shine event,” said Gallacher. “One hundred per cent of the gate donations are designated to go to the O’Keefe Ranch.”

Live bands and family entertainment will be part of the weekend on all three days. Vancouver magician Chris Yuill will put on a pair of stage shows Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a beverage garden, 50-50 draws and a raffle.

Some good news if you want to come as a group.

Group table reservations are available for a fee (visit and click Reservations), and with limited parking available at the ranch, there will be a free shuttle bus to and from Ribfest, leaving from Kal Tire Place.

“We still need a shuttle bus driver for Saturday,” said Gallacher. “We also need parking lot attendants, liquor service, table cleaning, reservations and ground clean-up.”

If you’d like to help, there’s a volunteer form at

The event hopes to draw 12,000 people.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Rack ‘em. A look at Vernon Ribfest Revival

READ MORE: Swan Lake fired up for Vernon Ribfest Revival

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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