Rib Fest had a great first day - citizens talked about coyote problem - visitors loved the event

By Katelyn Goodwin

September 3rd, 2022



While covering the Rotary Rib Fest at Spencer Smith Park on Friday I talked to some of the people about the recent coyote attacks reported in south central Burlington.

Signs and whistles were the tools the city was using to combat the coyote problem.

While many folks come from outside the city simply to enjoy the Rib Fest, there are those residing within Burlington and on the outskirts who are aware of these attacks and were aware of what the city is doing to manage the problem.

Those from outside Burlington are aware of the attacks, though unaware of how the city is handling them.

For the most part residents believe the city is doing all they can and should educate people on the issue; some think the city cannot do a whole lot more than they already are – others claim they are providing minimal info and should be providing more.

Other people noted the distribution of whistles for the use of ‘hazing’ wild animals they may encounter, saying it was a decent solution for the time being.

Two women had many thoughts to share on the subject. One believed a reason for the sudden aggressive behaviour in coyotes stemmed from the issue of some people feeding wild animals, causing them to become more territorial. She also believed the elimination of the coyote suspected to have been the one that bit and scratched the leg of an eighteen-year-old girl south of Lakeshore Road as well as attack a two and a half-year-old toddler was ‘unfortunate, but necessary’.

While she stated she did not enjoy hearing about the elimination of any animal, she did not want any other residents or children injured by them, or any small pets attacked and killed.

It was the new normal everyone wanted. Few masks in sight.

The other woman said she felt sorry for the coyotes, believing us to have taken more of their habitat/territory away, though acknowledged what had to be done under city orders to take safety precautions. She was particularly concerned about the uncharacteristic aggression in the animals suddenly, calling it ‘worrying behaviour’.

As noted, there are differing thoughts from both Burlington residents and residents outside the city about these unprovoked coyote attacks and what the city is doing to manage the problem even during an enjoyable event such as the Rib Fest, with people coming to their own conclusions on what is being done/needs to be done to resolve the problem.

The interesting thing about asking people questions at a large public event is the answers you get. One woman from New York city was in town visiting and decided to take in the Rib Fest to see what it was like.

This is what brings them back to Burlington’s Rotary Rib Fest!

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5 comments to Rib Fest had a great first day – citizens talked about coyote problem – visitors loved the event

  • Alfred


    While even $5 would be out of reach for some suffering financial hardship. $29 for ribs cornbread and coleslaw and throw in a free concert as well, is a bargain. Don’t forget the grand party/ carnival like atmosphere thrown in. My $5 donation was in my opinion money well spent. I passed on the ribs. Many enjoyed all this, minus the food for free. Organizers did a great job, Police on hand. Music was a little loud. Oh well.

    What bands did they have playing at Montana’s?
    Were the carnival rides set up in the parking lot?

    Giving discounts for seniors, physically and mentally disabled people I agree with. The others suffering financial hardship could easily buy and cook more ribs from the supermarket than 4 people could ever eat, including salads bread and whatever, for less than $50 bucks including a drink. Save $70 or more bucks and still go to the venue for free. Lot’s left over for ice cream later and the rest of the week. That’s what I did.

  • Sherry

    Very well written Katelyn!

  • Helen Donohoe

    I too, am interested in the portion/percentage that goes to Rotary and its charities.
    At least this year, as far as I could see, there was no evidence of the odious practice from some past years, of paying extra to “skip the line.”

  • Sharon

    My family has always gone to Ribfest, even the drive thru the last 2 years. We went to the Canada Day Ribfest in Waterdown this year. We purchased 2 1/2 rib rack, 1/4 chicken,spoonful of pulled pork, baked beans and coleslaw dinners and a pulled pork sandwich. $125.00(without tip) or drink. Lemonade was $5.00 a cup. Since the ribbers that were at Waterdown are at Spencer Smith this weekend we have decided to have our own Ribfest at home. Yesterday, I bought 3 racks of pork riibs, pork loin roast at Fortinos $60.00.
    I understand it’s a fundraiser for Rotary but the prices have become ridiculous.
    As Penny mentioned Montana’s, Kelsey’s and Jake’s are all having Ribfest this weekend. You eat in comfort for $40.00

  • Penny Hersh

    I understand the desire to participate in Rib Fest. I realize as well that inflation is taking its toll on residents. A friend, purchased 1/2 rack of ribs with a side of cornbread and coleslaw and the cost was $29.00 before leaving a tip in the tip jar. For many families this is out of reach financially.

    To put this into perspective you can go to Montana’s and for 30.99 the rib fest special is all you can eat ribs with a choice of baked beans or coleslaw, freshly baked cornbread and seasoned fries. In the comfort of an air-conditioned restaurant.

    Does anyone know how much money Rotary receives from the Ribbers? I realize that it is a charity event to help Rotary give back to the community, and that in itself is worth paying extra.

    Perhaps some discount coupons could be made available to those who could use some financial assistance.