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'This is really needed': First ever Halal Ribfest in Edmonton

Cooking ribs at the Halal Ribfest in Edmonton on Saturday June 10, 2023. (CTV News Edmonton/Sean McClune) Cooking ribs at the Halal Ribfest in Edmonton on Saturday June 10, 2023. (CTV News Edmonton/Sean McClune)
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The grills are fired up and the meat is cooking at Edmonton's first Halal Ribfest this weekend.

Ribfest is a popular summer event throughout the province. This weekend, Edmonton hosted its first ever Halal Ribfest, which meant all the food is OK for Muslims to eat.

"We do attend Ribfest, but we don't get the full experience," said Reema Siddiqi, with the organizing committee ."This came about from the experience of being a group of people who have attended festivals time and time again and not being fulfilled, not being able to try the amazing food there just because it's not meeting our dietary needs of being halal.

"Here, Muslims are also included, there is no pork, no alcohol at the event so it's a very family friendly, safe environment and it's jam-packed with entertainment."

The event wasn't just for the Muslim community, everyone was invited to come and enjoy plenty of chicken and beef ribs, local food trucks were also in attendance.

"We launched last year in Toronto and to our surprise, we had an overwhelming response where people from all over North America flew in just to have halal ribs," said Siddiqi. "This is really needed, the cities are screaming for this, so we heard that noise."

The event is taking place in 20 cities across North America throughout the year.

The Halal Ribfest is going on at Winston Churchill Square until 9 p.m. Sunday. The next Canadian stop is in Calgary beginning on June 16.

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