Best time to go to Ottawa

Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street 2024

A pure heaven for meat lovers

Dates: May 30–June 2, 2024

Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street
Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street
Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street

Craving some meat? We know where to go. Each summer, Ottawa's Sparks Street hosts the unforgettable Ribfest. This family-friendly event features plenty of delicious mouthwatering meat treats and BBQ, as well as plenty of entertainment, like live music and kids' activities.

Food & Beverages

The main attraction of the festival is, of course, a wide selection of meat dishes, from ribs, beef briskets and pulled pork to spiraled potatoes. In recent years, the festival has experienced some controversy due to animal rights groups protests. Now, you can also come across numerous vegetarian and even gluten-free options, such as corn on the cob, vegetable pizza, and no-gluten sauces.

There are also desserts, such as doughnuts or ice cream. However, the largest crowds are still gathered by the delicious smell of award-winning ribs. In addition, consider stopping by Ottawa's many patios and restaurants for a sip of cocktails.

Ribber Competition

While attendees treat themselves to delicious BBQ, they can witness a much-awaited Ribber competition, welcoming nine ribbers from across the country to find out who serves the best meat and sauce. They annually compete for titles of Best Chicken, Best Sauce, and Best Team. The contestants will be evaluated by a panel of judges, which usually consists of previous winners and celebrities.


While you take a stroll along Sparks Street and treat yourself to delectable delights from the vendors, local musicians will set the mood with their ambient tracks. From indie artists to rock bands, be prepared to dance your heart out during the festival.

Festival Hours & Admission

Ottawa Ribfest usually runs from 11 am to 10 pm and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday, so everyone will have plenty of time to enjoy the juicy ribs. As for admission, it's totally free. You will have to pay for food at the fest's grounds, so consider stocking up on cash. Lastly, if you have a friendly pet who's great around children and other animals, you are more than welcome to bring them along.


Ottawa Ribfest annually takes place at Sparks Street, which is home to many eateries and nightlife establishments. The area is known for featuring a mix of historic and urban architecture and being the first pedestrian mall in North America. You can get to Sparks Street by taking a bus, subway, or taxi. If you're driving, there are many parking options available nearby.

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