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Best Community Event

(1 Vote)

Wood Buffalo Ribfest

Snye Point Park, 780-697-1910
Facebook: @woodbuffaloribfest

PHOTO: Michael Jesso

There’s a general stigma about Fort McMurray. However, this one doesn’t come from our outsiders. It comes from our locals. It has been said by community event planners of the past that hosting summer activities isn’t always ideal because the resident population decreases by everyone taking off elsewhere.

Well, maybe this used to be the case, but not anymore. The past summer has debunked this myth with concert sell-outs at Summer Sounds FM and packed patios and events for the Fort McMurray Food Fest. Even better, a new-to-Fort McMurray “summer” event has made its way into the city and takes YMM Magazine’s first-ever Best Community Event title.

If you checked out the Wood Buffalo Ribfest this August, you would have seen that people actually stick around on the long weekends as the Snye Point Park was full of finger-licking rib eaters. The inaugural festival was brought here by local event organizers Dennis Nephin and Laura Cote with the additional support from community entertainment icon Mike Jones.

Tagged around North America as "The Big Sticky," Ribfest is a community event that comes into cities during the summer to deliver delicious ribs in a family-friendly atmosphere. Our local event featured six of the top rib trucks that travel throughout Canada and the U.S.

With meat smoked in cherry wood and a secret signature rub, the BBQ pros delivered some of the tastiest ribs Fort McMurray has ever had. And, according to Wood Buffalo Ribfest founder Dennis Nephin, fans can look forward to the best Labour Day Weekend bash continuing for years to come with no cost to enter. Free event with live entertainment and award-winning ribs? We can all honour and agree this event is deserving of the “Best” title.

(An additional shout-out to the Fort McMurray Monarchs, Keyano Huskies and Snye Point Parkrun group who cleaned up after the event. The organizers are grateful for their efforts!)


Dawn Booth is a local journalist and business owner of the communication service, Media Booth. Residing in Fort McMurray since 2007, Booth has been actively working in the Wood Buffalo region as a media and marketing expert. From her arrival to the city, until November 2010, she worked as the Special Features Editor at the Fort McMurray Today. In April 2011, she co-launched snapd Wood Buffalo and managed the publication for three years, until June 2014. In March 2014, she created Media Booth and is currently working with a wide-variety of clients in the business and nonprofit sectors throughout Alberta. Her passion for volunteering in the community has given her two civic awards from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She has also received the title for the Fort McMurray Connect's Top 40 Under 40 and is one of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta's 2014-2015 Women of Inspiration. A happy wife and loving mother to two young boys and a baby girl, Booth can be found easily at