Oakville Family Ribfest: new carnival rides & water balls add to family fun

Let your kids enjoy the free PlayZone the first weekend of summer at The Co-operators Oakville Family Ribfest.

Fancy looking in the mirror and seeing Spiderman staring back at you? Or want to gross your friends out with the most realistic-looking make-up gashes and wounds around? Have your picture drawn by a professional caricature artist, and learn about lots of cuddly – and scaly – creatures.

One thing is for sure, fun will abound at this year’s The Co-operators Oakville Family Ribfest, taking place June 20-22, 2014, at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road campus in Oakville. While beer and ribs are the order of the day for adults, the Kids’ PlayZone will be the destination of choice for young ones from toddlers to teens. And best of all: everything in it is free!

Corporate sponsor The Home Depot is back for the second year with its mega-successful Kids’ Workshop, a one-on-one craft activity. Upon entering the Home Depot tent, parents and children will be greeted by a store associate and given the choice of making a bird feeder, race car, fire engine or helicopter from a kit. The store associate will work with the child to complete the project, and will do the hammering when necessary! Once they have completed their project, the child will be given it to take home, along with an apron, certificate and pin. A limited number of kits are available for the weekend, so be sure to visit early.

More physical fun can be had on an enormous bouncy castle, and a challenging Pirates Den obstacle course will keep little ones entertained for hours.

Sheridan College alums and caricature artists Dylan Glynn and Naddya Oluoch-Olunya will be on-site during the weekend, drawing charming depictions of your kids that are sure to become keepsakes.

Face painters will be adorning eager faces with the creations of their choice, from butterflies and twinkling stars, to superheroes and giants of the animal kingdom. For the adventurous, Safari Science will have an assortment of snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies for you to hold.

Sure to melt your heart will be the opportunity to have your little one’s picture taken with Elsa, from the Disney blockbuster “Frozen”, provided by party entertainers KidzCentric.

As well, we are excited to announce that many local championship robotics teams will be around to demonstrate their technical wizardry – and recruit new members to their respective high school clubs. E-Bots Robotics will kick things off on Friday night. The group’s mission is to engage children in designing, building and programming Lego robots through active, creative and meaningful learning. One of the E-Bots groups, called the Pi-Lons, has been so successful in building and programming robots that it is at the pinnacle of international competition.

While they’re not free activities, Ribfest is thrilled to announce two other new major attractions this year: a carnival-style midway, and the popular and entertaining water balls! They are located in the Ribfest Midway, separate from the Kids’ PlayZone.


Orangeville-based Robertson Amusements will be offering a rocking good time to attendees of all ages with some heart-pumping midway rides. Enjoy a spectacular view of Oakville from the Mulligan Ferris Wheel, or chase your friends around in bumper cars. For those wanting something decidedly less sedate, Zero Gravity and the Orbiter will whirl you around to your heart’s content. Tickets are required.

The newest kind of water fun will have you thinking you’re walking on water. Step into a sealed plastic bubble and run around a shallow pool, just like a hamster in its wheel. You might get wet, but you’ll definitely be cool! Ontario Inflatables says its water balls are the most in-demand attraction it offers for festival entertainment. And if the summer sun is blazing, the price of the ticket will seem like the best money you ever spent.

The PlayZone is open until 9 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and until 7 pm on Sunday.

For more information, visit oakvillefamilyribfest.com.



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