Pair of popular CK summer events team up for 2023

Retrofest (Submitted photo)

Two popular summertime Chatham-Kent festivals will be joining forces this summer.

RetroFest and Ribfest Chatham will be held on the same weekend, with the “super event” set for May 26 to May 28.

Project Manager of The Historic Downtown Chatham BIA Connie Beneteau said the two groups decided that teaming up would be the best solution for the residents, exhibitors, and sponsors that enjoy the two events so much.

“When we were approached by RetroFest to have both events on the same weekend we had to give it some thought,” said Beneteau. “RetroFest is one of the top 100 Festivals in Ontario and we wanted to be mindful of what attendees expect. We met with the Kent Historic Auto Club, who is our partner for RetroFest and discussed the idea, everyone agreed that a change would be welcomed.”

It was previously announced that Tecumseh Park in Chatham would be closed for renovations this year, which forced many local festival organizers to look for a new location for 2023, including Ribfest Chatham.

Officials with Summit Shows Canada, the organization that hosts Ribfest Chatham, said it was very welcome news that RetroFest was willing to combine events, noting that if it didn’t, Ribfest probably would not have happened in Chatham-Kent this year.

“This is a perfect example of how event organizers are willing to work together,” said Co-Chair The Historic Downtown Chatham BIA Nancy Dudley. “We believe that this years ‘Rims and Ribs’ weekend will be a great time for all.”

According to organizers, the regular cruise on the Friday night for RetroFest will be modified, along with some enhancements of the activities in the park Friday through Sunday. The updated schedule of the combined events is excepted be announced shortly.