Boats, ribs and music at the wharf

Published online: Jul 22, 2011 News Kim Good -
Viewed 214 time(s)
There is nothing better than relaxing by the water, listening to tunes and chowing down on some finger-licking, award-winning ribs - unless of course, you add shopping.

Now calm down guys, this is shopping even you will enjoy. The fourth annual In-Water Boat and Cottage Show and Muskoka Rib Fest has something for everyone, especially boys who want toys.
The combined event includes close to 100 exhibits pertaining to cottage and marine products and services, 80 boats - from runabouts to pontoon boats - and five rib specialists competing for the chance to win the titles of "Best Ribs" and "Best Sauce." Throw in live entertainment, free admission, and the dockside locale of the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, and you've got one of the hottest Muskoka events of the summer.

"The whole scene, the whole atmosphere of being on the wharf, and the boats being there, and the exhibits themselves, whether you own a home and/or a cottage, a lot of the exhibits would pertain," said show director Ian Forsythe of Caneast Shows Inc. 

"The entertainment, and then just the whole food angle ... and it's being outdoors, being at a festival."

This year's show is both bigger and better, said Forsythe, with 15 boat dealers showcasing the latest and greatest in marine craft, all of which are available for test drives. Exhibitors are exclusively selling cottage and marine products in areas such as docks, solar, barbecues, landscaping, insurance, builders, furniture, clothing, and, of course, cottage toys, including canoes and kayaks.

"The newest craze is these paddleboards," he added. "There will be an exhibitor there and he will be doing demonstrations in the water, and people are able to try it, so that's kind of cool."

Over at the rib fest, Ribs Royale, Gator BBQ, Silver Bullet, and, new this year, Bone Daddy's will try to win the trophy away from reigning rib champ Camp 31. In addition to the five ribbers, other food includes the return of decadent fried Mars bars, and a beer and wine tent hosted by Muskoka Brewery. Live entertainment will run throughout most of the three-day event, with a lineup of rock, blues and country groups set to take the stage. 

The combination of Muskoka Rib Fest and the In-Water Boat and Cottage Show is a match made in heaven for both the vendors and the attendees, explained Forsythe.

"It works extremely well because it's a nice mix of locals, plus the cottage crowd," he said. "A lot of the locals come for the ribfest, but they end up having a wander through the exhibits, and then vice versa, so it works very, very nicely."


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