Explore: Ribfest, Sooke Fall Fair, Metchosin Day and more

Ribfest returns to Bullen Park

Eat mouth-watering barbecue ribs prepared by professional ribbers (a chef specializing in grilled foods) and wash it down with local craft beer at the Esquimalt Ribfest, Friday to Sunday at Bullen Park in Esquimalt.

The fundraising event, hosted by the Esquimalt Ribfest Society, features a cook-off between six professional rib teams, competing to win the coveted Peoples’ Choice award.

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This year’s teams include Victoria’s own Grizzly Ribs, Misty Mountain from Hinton, Alberta, Prairie Smoke and Spice from southern Saskatchewan, Gator BBQ from Port Dover, Ont., Boss Hog’s and Hucklebellys, the newest team.

Enjoy three days of ribs washed down with craft beer, cider and wine — while listening to local bands.

There are also children’s activities, including a Kid Zone, with an inflatable amusement, obstacle course, crafts and carnival games. The Kid Zone is open 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

You can also try your hand at Bubble Soccer, with the upper part of your body encased by a giant bubble ($5 for 15 minutes).

Take a break from ribs and check out shiny vehicles at the Esquimalt Cars, Rods and Rides Show, a car show open to all years, makes and models, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Archie Browning Parking Lot.

Outside operating costs, all proceeds raised by the event are returned to the community through the Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation. Funds go to local charities and school-sponsored activities for youth.

For the past six years the Esquimalt Ribfest Society has been putting money aside for the Es-Whoy-Malth Community Field Collaboration (formerly known as the Ribfest Field of Dreams Project). The project will fund an all-weather playing field for Esquimalt — with lights for year-round use, a grandstand for large events, a field house for change rooms, washrooms and meeting area.

The collaboration is led by the Songhees Nation and includes local sporting organizations, the Township of Esquimalt, School District 61, the Esquimalt High School Alumni Association and the Vancouver Island Aboriginal Thunder Rugby Club.

Free admission. The event runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Bullen Park on Lyall Street (behind Esquimalt Plaza).

For more information, go to esquimaltribfest.com.

Sooke Fall Fair celebrates community’s roots

Residents of Sooke will be out in force to show the true value of their skills at the 106th Sooke Fall Fair, Saturday and Sunday at the Sooke Community Hall.

The theme for this year’s fair is Rooted in Tradition — a nod to the history of the event, first held in 1913.

The community is proud of its roots, with an annual fair that celebrates its connection to agriculture.

Families who immigrated to Sooke brought with them knowledge of seeds, roots, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, geese and more.

They found Indigenous peoples willing to share their knowledge and expertise in fishing, hunting, traditional medicines, knowledge of the oceans and rivers, gathering of fruits and drying of fish with the new visitors.

Knowledge was shared by both and enhanced.

The fall fair became the place for neighbours to show off their best crops and creations in the spirit of healthy competition.

At the Sooke Fall Fair, see how the community continues to embrace its traditions, with competitions on growing roses and marigolds, raising sheep and cattle, keeping bees, chickens and eggs, knitting, baking, preserving, sewing, painting, carving and writing.

See the many decorated scarecrows, take a pony ride (by donation), enter the Chicken Bingo, enjoy carnival or traditional games such as the boiled egg, gunnysack or three-legged races.

The B.C. Fruit Testers Association will be on hand on Saturday (1:30 to 3:30 p.m.) to identify the apple grown in your yard.

Admission to the event is by donation. It runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Sooke Community Hall, Shields Road across from Mom’s Café. For more information, go to sookefallfair.ca/wp/.

Sheep-shearing, hayrides, music and more at Metchosin Day

Listen to Metchosinites (singers and songwriters from the West Shore), take a 25-cent hayride, see a children’s pet show or shop the wares of more than 100 vendors at Metchosin Day, Sunday at the Metchosin Municipal Grounds.

The annual event, first started in 1967, is a fun day for the family.

It starts with a five-kilometre walk/run, followed by a pancake breakfast.

See award-winning cakes, pies, fruit and vegetables, a pet show and children’s games in the Village Green.

There will be sheep-shearing demonstrations every hour, on the hour. Youngsters who are members of the 4-H (Head Heart Hands Health) will show off their animal husbandry skills with displays and demonstrations.

New this year will be children’s sales tables — where children 12 and under can sell their handmade wares or locally grown produce.

Mechosinites will entertain the public with music and the Morris dancers will perform around the field all day.

Children can enjoy a hayride or get on a backhoe digger (near the fire hall).

The event is free to join. It runs 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Metchosin Municipal Grounds, behind the fire hall, 4450 Happy Valley Rd. For more information, go to metchosinday.ca.

Tweed Ride sets off from behind tweed curtain

Ditch the spandex for tweed or smart-looking outfits at the Tweed Ride Victoria, a metropolitan ride with a bit of style, Sunday from Willows Park in Oak Bay.

Tweed Rides are a worldwide happening that started in London in 2009. Victoria had its first event the following year.

Tweed Ride Victoria is organized under the auspices of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

The ride is not a race. It is a 9.5-kilometre cycle to celebrate a bygone era and tour the city.

On Sunday, participants wind through the leafy streets of Oak Bay, meander down toward Beach Drive before turning back to cycle past Monterey Middle School. After that, they will circle around Estevan Village before finishing back at Willows Beach for a picnic.

Bring your wicker picnic baskets, tartan blankets, tea cups and saucers, croquet sets and gramophones, if you have them, for a jolly good afternoon.

Tea will be available from the Kiwanis Tea Room, as well as other food items for purchase.

The event is a fundraiser for Bicycles for Humanity Victoria, a local action group that collects and sends used bikes to Namibia.

Prizes will be awarded for categories such as Tweediest Lady, Tweediest Gentleman and Best Vintage Bicycle.

General admission is $15 adults and free for children 13 and under. Check in is at 11 a.m., the ride starts at noon and ends at about 1 p.m. The picnic runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at Willows Park. For more information, go to tweedridevictoria.ca.

Final Star Party of the summer

Join the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Victoria Centre for their last Star Party of the summer, Saturday at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

This is the last of 20 events featuring guest speakers, solar and nighttime observing with telescopes and tours of the observatory’s historic Plaskett telescope.

The topic for this Saturday’s party is Solving the Public’s Problems, led by Jason Beaman, a University of Victoria graduate.

Although the event is free, you must register for a ticket in advance (eventbrite.ca). The event runs 7:30 to 11 p.m., with the talk starting at 9:30 p.m., in the auditorium, Saturday at the observatory, 5071 West Saanich Rd. For more information, go to victoria.rasc.ca/star-parties-dao-2019.

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