The Sarnia Kinsmen Rib Festival is an Annual Event


2013 was the 16th annual Sarnia Kinsmen festival held in Sarnia, Canada. The Sarnia Rib Fest is a great festival with amazing ribbers, great music, and lot of vendors. Between 2012-2016 the Kinsmen weren't able to hold a Ribfest in Centennial Park when soil in the park was found to be contaminated. The festival had to move to the Hiawatha Horse Park. But in 2017 the Sarnia Kinsmen Ribfest returned to Centennial Park making the event a particularly special one.
For a number of years this was the annual Sarnia Kinsmen festival's website .
Content is from the site's 2002- 2014 archived pages for a nostalgic look back. Other outside sources referencing the festival are included.

Check out the current website for the Sarnia Kinsmen Club for the most up to date info about the next Sarnia Ribfest:<



Banner from the 2002 & 2003 festival years.


Centennial Park - Sarnia - Ontario - Canada
fun - family - food - music - carnival


Rib Vendors Open 4PM
Concert at 8PM

Tribute to AC/DC




Rib Vendors Open 11 AM
Concert at 8PM

Tribute to


THE 88'S




Junior Talent Search - 10 AM
Youth Talent Search - 1 PM

For more information:
Radio Sarnia Lambton (519) 542-5500


Rib Vendors Open 11 AM
Concert at 2 PM


Tribute to U2



People may even travel from all over North America to attend this year’s event. As former defensive handler Benjamin Pred would always say, “After a frisbee tournament, nothing is better than chowing down on a big bucket of ribs.” Nowadays, Pred is a pescatarian, but his wife and son are self-proclaimed rib afficionados, and even this vegetarian is willing to travel all over Canada in search of the perfect ribs to satisfy his hungry family. He couldn’t wait to plan a road trip for the summer just to check out this Ribfest.


The Sarnia Kinsmen Festival will be held July 7-9, 2017 at Centennial Park Again

By Carl Hnatyshyn /
Published on: July 5, 2017 |

The Sarnia Kinsmen Ribfest returns to Centennial Park this week, and event co-chair Jack Struck says it has the potential to be among the most successful after the festival took a hiatus last year.

“We’re really excited about this year’s lineup, this year’s vendors and of course this year’s ribbers,” said Struck. “We’re going to have five ribbers, we’re up to about 15 or 16 vendors who are selling everything from clothing to food as well as information sites, and we have ten bands performing throughout the weekend, from hard rock to country music. You’ll have a little bit of everything in terms of music.”

The Kinsmen haven’t been able to hold a Ribfest in Centennial Park since 2012, when soil in the park was found to be contaminated. But recently completed remediation work has made the festival’s return possible, making this year’s event a particularly special one, Struck said.

“It’s different in the sense that we’re coming home,” he said. “We’re coming back to where it all started back in 1999. And reaction in the community has been absolutely fantastic. On our Facebook page alone, we’re into the thousands of hits. It’s unbelievable. Everywhere I go people are asking questions about what’s going on and what’s happening.”

Along with five ribbers coming in from as far away as St. Catharines (local rib heroes Smokin’ Joes will represent Sarnia) and the large cluster of commercial vendors, the festival will also feature a family tent for sit-down rib consumption, inflatables for the kids, as well as music ranging from the rockin’ sounds of Rob Sharp & Lit’l Chicago to the country-tinged tunes of Scott Manery & The Barnburners to the indie sounds of The Gypsy Flats.

Organizers were blown away by both the positive reaction throughout the community and the reaction amongst past ribbers and vendors, some of whom they had to turn away from this year’s festival, Struck said.

“Within everybody in the realm of the Ribfest circle, we’ve had at least 10 other ribbers wanting to come,” he said.

Struck said he hopes the community realizes how important the fundraiser is to the local charities that benefit from the money that Ribfest brings in.

“I hope people come out because all the proceeds go to the community’s greatest needs. That’s the Kinsmen motto,” he said, noting that the all-Canadian service club gives to organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Santa Claus and Canada Day Parades, Noelle’s Gift, the Salvation Army and Celebration of Lights festival, to name only a few.

“Everything goes right back into the community.”


WHAT: Sarnia Kinsmen Ribfest
WHEN: July 7, 8, 9
WHERE: Sarnia’s Centennial Park, London Road and Front Street
COST: Donations from noon until 6 p.m., after 6 p.m. $5 for those 16 and older, children free


Friday, July 7
• 7-8:30 p.m. – Rob Sharp & Lit’l Chicago
• 8:45-10:15 p.m. – Scott Manery & The Barnburners
• 10:30-midnight – Jabrito

Saturday, July 8
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. – Gypsy Flats
• 7-8:30 p.m. – Roundhouse
• 8:45-10:15 p.m. – Retrospect
• 10:30-midnight – Chain Reaction

Sunday, July 9
• 1-2:15 p.m. Stephanie Aiken & Company
• 2:30-3:45 p.m. – Jeff Black & Daryl
• 4-5:30 p.m. – Mark Blayney



16th Annual Sarnia Kinsmen Festival Runs June 12-15, 2014

By Tyler Kula /
Published on: June 11, 2014

 Being a ribfest griller may not be the most glamorous job in the world.

Crazy heat, smoke burning the eyes, getting up at 4 a.m. for prep and leaving the park that night at 11 all come with the territory.

But don’t tell that to the ribbers.

“They never want to take a break,” said Gus Kategiannis. “They enjoy it.”

The wood-grilling barbecue artists may be sporting bandanas and sunglasses to guard against the inevitable sand-in-the-eyes feeling by night’s end, but it’s all worth it, he said.

And not just for the satisfied look on the faces of people dining on their succulent offerings.

“You meet all walks of life and the experience is amazing,” he said.

Kategiannis, 38 — a Zorra Township native — and some of his family from North Carolina are behind the newcomer at this year’s Sarnia Ribfest, The Chop Shop.

The four-year-old travelling rib joint is participating for the first time at the 16th annual Sarnia festival that last year brought in 20,000 people over four days.

The Chop Shop is looking to end Kentucky Smokehouse’s four-year streak of people’s choice and overall champion award wins, staking it’s claim with a sweeter sauce that packs some heat and works well with the dry rub that’s basted on, Kategiannis said.

He didn’t reveal exactly what was in the sauce, but said it’s thick, it caramelizes and it doesn’t include ketchup.

“They use a lot of ketchup in North Carolina,” he said, noting locals there even put the ubiquitous condiment in coleslaw.

“I don’t think anybody here likes that, so you don’t want to do that..”

It’s about making the barbecue sauce stand out from others, he said.

Pork shoulders are slow-cooked for 14 hours and smoked.

“Hopefully people can come and try something different,” he said.

All seven of the rib vendors at the annual music and meat festival were prepping Wednesday for the Thursday to Sunday extravaganza — this year including 18 bands, a massive midway, all sorts of vendors, and the food.

With major sponsor H.C. Stark Canada Inc., the Sarnia Kinsmen-organized event was also offering something a little extra for the dads this year — a chance to check out everything from hot rods, to new cars and farm equipment in a Big Toys for Big Boys attraction.

“Something dad can wander around and have a look at while he sends mom and the kids over to the midway,” said Sarnia Ribfest founder Dave Johnston.

Lining up the festival with Father’s Day weekend, how it’s been for three years, is a good fit, he said.

“Lots of times nobody knows what to get dad,” he said. “I’m a dad and I don’t need another tie, so bring me down here buy me a plate of ribs and a couple of beers and I’ll be a happy guy.”

— —


WHAT: Sarnia Kinsmen 16th Annual Ribfest
WHEN: June 12-15
WHERE: Hiawatha Horse Park
FEATURES: Seven ribbers, 18 bands, Rise to Fame talent contest, Big Toys for Big Boys, midway, vendors, courtesy shuttle buses.
ADMISSION: Free; donations accepted for the Sarnia Kinsmen.



2014 Sarnia Rib Fest


(music starts at 5:15pm)

  • Erika & Sara
  • Sisters of Soul
  • Rockridje
  • Retrospect
  • 3rd Wave


(music starts at 4:30pm)

  • The Irish Band Failte
  • Southern Funk Experience
  • Scott Manery & The Barnburners
  • Shelly Rastin


(Music starts at 3:15pm)

  • Playfair Music Showcase
  • Kira-Jade
  • Rob Jenkins & The Room
  • JaBriTo
  • Big Pappa & The Machine
  • Rumblefish


(music starts at 1pm)

  • Smith & Grennan
  • Judging of Ribs

Rise To Fame Talent Contest - Saturday(Junior 10am, Youth 11:30am)

All Weekend Long

World's Finest Shows & Big Toys for Big Boys

Join the Fun!

The lip-smacking, mouth-watering event of the summer! Thursday, June 12 to Sunday, June 15, 2014. This year, Rib Teams compete for the title of champion, serving tons of barbequed splendor. There's no admission charge all weekend! Any donations or proceeds go to the Sarnia Kinsmen.




2013 Sarnia Rib Fest


(music starts at 6pm)

  • Shelly Rastin
  • Scott Manery & the Barnburners
  • Rumblefish


(music starts at 4:30pm)

  • Cornerstone
  • SFX
  • Southern Fryde Inc
  • The River Junction Band


(Music starts at 4:30pm)

  • The Room
  • Everglo
  • 3rd Wave
  • Blind Dog Molly


(music starts at 1pm)

  • Lit'l Chicago
  • Judging of Ribs

World's Finest Shows

Rise To Fame Talent Contest (Junior 10am, Youth 12pm)

  Exotic Critters, Rise 2 Fame

All Weekend! Exotic Critters and World's Finest Shows

Free Shuttle Rides!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 13-15

Leaving Murphy R. Terminal

Leaving Hiawatha

4:30pm 4:45pm
5:00 5:15
5:30 5:45
6:00 6:15
6:30 6:45
7:00 7:15
7:30 7:45
8:00 8:15
8:30 8:45
9:00 9:15
9:30 9:45
10:00 10:15 Last bus frm Hiawatha



Join the Fun!

The lip-smacking, mouth-watering event of the summer! Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16, 2013. This year, Rib Teams compete for the title of champion, serving tons of barbequed splendor. There's no admission charge all weekend! Any donations or proceeds go to the Sarnia Kinsmen.



2011 Sarnia Rib Fest








  • Hello Bella
  • After The Lounge



  • The Twang Guys
  • Southern Funk Xperience
  • Shelley Rastin
  • Revival- Tribute To CCR


  • Free face painting by Painted Cat
  • Exotic Critters
  • Fernandez
  • Rumblefish
  • Tim Chaison & Morning Fold
  • Helix



  • Free face painting by Painted Cat
  • Exotic Critters
  • Rick Steeves (1:30pm - 4:00pm)
  • Back Yard BBQ Draw
  • Rib Judging Results

All Weekend! The Amazing Fernandez and Exotic Critters

Join the Fun!

The lip-smacking, mouth-watering event of the summer! Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 19, 2011. This year, Rib Teams compete for the title of champion, serving tons of barbequed splendor. There's no admission charge all weekend! Any donations or proceeds go to the Sarnia Kinsmen.