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PHOTOS: Ribs + ranch = match made in North Okanagan heaven

Vernon Ribfest 2023 attracts large crowds to venue at historic O’Keefe Ranch

It’s not a stretch to envision the O’Keefe family sitting down at their ranch at the northern end of Vernon’s Swan Lake for a hearty meal of spare ribs and fixings in the late 19th or early 20th century.

The O’Keefes, however, probably didn’t envision thousands of people flocking to their property to enjoy the same thing.

Vernon Ribfest moved to the historic ranch for its three-day celebration of ribs July 7-9.

“Who could ever say anything but wonderful things about the location, it’s so beautiful out there,” said Ribfest spokesperson Elaine Gallacher, busy Monday, July 10, packing up and moving out boxes from the site.

“It’s part of Vernon’s heritage and seems like a wonderful collaboration to bring both Ribfest and O’Keefe together.

Vernon Ribfest 2023 featured three teams of ribbers along with entertainment and many other fun activities for families and Ribfest goers to enjoy.

Gallacher would love to return to the historic ranch in 2024.

“We’ll have that discussion between the ribbers and O’Keefe and ourselves, go over what things worked and what didn’t,” she said. “And see if there’s the possibility of returning next year. It’s a nice location for it.”

Ribfest had hoped to attract 12,000 people for the three-day celebration of the lip-smacking godliness that are ribs. Gallacher said Monday she didn’t have the final numbers.

“The crowds really enjoyed themselves,” she said. “I haven’t seen the reviews but people have been telling me there’s been nothing but positive reviews on social media. It’s wonderful that the community comes out and supports it. It’s something they really want and really enjoy.”

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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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