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Tillsonburg Ribfest returns July 15-17

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Tillsonburg Ribfest, sponsored by the Tillsonburg Thunder senior men's hockey team, is building on its successful 2015 festival with three days of ribs and entertainment planned at the fairgrounds, July 15-17.

Admission into Memorial Park is free, noted Thunder president Mike Holly.

Three 'ribbers' will set up for the mid-July weekend - returning Ribs Royale BBQ and Railroad Ribs, and new this year, Dinosaur BBQ Pit. There will also be a beer tent.

"This year, most of the picnic tables will be under a tent," said Holly. "I've got a big 40x60 foot tent... and that should make it a little nicer."

The live bands include Robert Marshall, Last Highway, AM&A, Rob Kirkham & Neon Rain - and that's just Friday afternoon/evening. Saturday's lineup includes Run for Cover, Howzat and Destroyer, a KISS tribute band. The Sound and The Void, two local bands, play Sunday.

"You can get all the latest updates and schedules on the website (tillsonburgribfest.ca)," said Holly.

"Destroyer is coming Saturday night and they're the premier KISS tribute band - they've been doing it probably almost as long as KISS has been out. They're actually going to be here at my house four hours that day putting makeup on. It's going to be cool."

Ray's Reptiles arrives Sunday for shows at 12, 1 and 2 p.m. Ribfest will also have a 'kids zone,' adding to the family fun.

"We've got lots of dancers coming out - Danscene is going to be there, Imagine is going to be there."

There will also be a variety of food trucks.

"At last count we had 54 vendors, and there's always a few last minute ones. I think we had about 30 last year. So we're pretty happy about that."

As long as the Ribfest continues to grow, Holly said there is a possibility more rib vendors will be added to future ribfests.

"When they can't keep up, that's when we add more," he said, estimating nearly 5,000 people attended last year's three-day event.

"People came in, they had a good time, they told their friends. So we're hoping for even more this year. That's the key - if you want to make it 'bigger, better,' come out and support the ribfest." 

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