It’s a natural go-together, Perth Rotary club member Jim Peden said. He and fellow Rotarian Frank Larabie presented a summer 2018 proposed dual-event blockbuster to Perth Committee of the Whole Tuesday. As a partner with the town for the 2018 Ribfest, their proposal is to add a music festival and stage the two-for-one event at Last Duel Park. Ribfest typically draws 10,000 annually to the event.
For the last three years, Ribfest has been held at the Fairgrounds but with a groundswell of comments about lack of shade, Peden and Larabie presented a plan to hold it at the park.
Music and food lovers can “enjoy the sunshine from the shade,” Peden said. “They can come for ribs and stay for music.”
Peden outlined how the venue would be set-up: the soundstage would point downriver cutting back on noise to nearby neighbours, with “the nearest lot [being] 400 feet from the soundstage.”
Vendors would set up along the river, the car show would be further into the park, there is a planned three-part kids’ area, and campers are only a quarter-of-a-mile away.
Plans are also in the works for a shuttle back and forth to town, and the best thing, he added, is “ we shut down at 10 p.m.”
Councillors were excited about the prospect and none opposed the proposal. Shannon Baillon, director of community services commented that campers (who sometimes stay for four or five months) would be notified when they applied for permits at the beginning of the season; fencing along the river will go up where alcohol is being served; the boat ramp will be open for day boaters and hopefully Le Boat visitors will take advantage of the docking area.
The proposal and recommendations will go to council on Jan. 23. The recommendations are to approve the usage of the front portion of Last Duel Park for the 2018 Ribfest and Music Festival, and to get a budget pre-approval of $7,500 for electrical infrastructure improvements. The estimate for infrastructure at the park is $15,000 and the Rotary Club will provide 50 per cent of that funding .