The Williams Lake Indian Band’s primary economic development entity is planning for a summer of fun this year with a ribfest and late summer beerfest.

“It’s really about our desire to boost the spirit and enthusiasm in the community and also to support local organizations as well,” said Sugar Cane Development Corporation CEO, Kirk Dressler.

“We thought we could kill two birds with one stone by having these festivals and having fun events that would be exciting for the community and that people could get behind and be enthusiastic about and also support two important organizations in our community. That’s a big part of why we’re doing this.”

Scheduled for Saturday, July 20 in Boitanio Park from 1 pm to 7 pm the Williams Lake Ribfest will be an intense competition between some of the Cariboo’s finest cooks.

“We think about the City of Williams Lake, we think about events for the community, and we think about what goes with successful events-ribs,” Chief Willie Sellars said.

“I’ve been to a number of rib fests across the province just traveling through towns or in meetings and it’s always a good time. It’s always packed and there’s something about the aroma of ribs that bring people together.”

“We pride ourselves on being community champions,” Sellars added.

“Like Kirk had mentioned something that will bring the community together, and that’s what we’re all about here; breaking down those barriers and creating an atmosphere for reconciliation is high on the menu for us in this great town that we live in.”

By partnering with the Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Williams Lake Indian Band will turn over all profits from the events to the two organizations that will provide volunteers.

The Band anticipates selling 500 tickets for the Ribfest with tickets to go on sale in July for the late summer Beerfest taking place on Saturday, August 31.

“It’s part of that community champion piece,” Sellars said.

“This is the Williams Lake Indian Band traditional territory and it’s part of building that relationship piece. If we could hold up these organizations, these bigger than us organizations in my opinion, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters and help them get to where they want to be that’s how we get to be a healthy community and that’s what we’re striving for here.”