Barbecue smells will waft from KPU parking lot in Langley this weekend

32nd annual Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ in Langley is raising funds for young burn survivors

by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance

The sights, sounds, and most importantly the smells of barbecue are coming back to Langley this weekend as the 32nd annual Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ move temporarily to KPU’s parking lot on May 4 and 5.

With more than 30 barbecue teams signed up and other independent teams participating in chili and side events, visitors will have a lot to take in from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, said competitor and co-producer Dave McKay.

McKay has been enveloped in barbecue since 1994, when he was working in television and did a story on the event – which then was held in New Westminster.

He met the event’s founder, David Veljacic and his wife Pat – who believed in keeping team entry fees low and encouraging donations to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund for The Young Burn Survivors Summer Camp.

It’s something McKay says is still important to the event.

“It’s the oldest and largest [BBQ competition] in Canada and the Pacific Northwest,” he explained.

READ MORE: Langley hosts throwdown for chilli and barbecue cooks

“A five dollar minimum donation [to get on site, goes] to the BC Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund. It costs in the neighbourhood of $5,000 a day to go to that camp. We have donated $50,000 to date for the fund, so we’ve sent a lot of kids to camp.”

The year after he met Veljacic – a captain with the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service – McKay started competing.

When the Veljacics passed away, others like McKay knew how important it was to continue their legacy. In fact, that’s why McKay takes on co-producing the event, which he describes as being like “lassoing water.”

“It’s in memory of the founder of the festival,” he said.

“He was a competition barbecuer before it was cool and he started this. I was so impressed with the people and the smells and the taste that I started competing. They had the lowest entry fees of any [barbecue] contest and we’ve kept it that way. We do it to support those young burn survivors.”

They also have a lot of fun and challenge themselves as competitor Steve Waldron with the Fat Wally’s Firehouse BBQ team said.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

“I’ve been competing for nine years,” Waldron said.

“It’s fun to hang out with all these people. We see each other every summer. Even though you’re competing against each other, you’re really competing against yourselves.”

Waldron’s team, which hails from Langley and Surrey, will participate in all the main barbecue events on Sunday: ribs, chicken, brisket and pork. They will also participate in the Saturday chili events and the surprise meat.

“Although it’s not a surprise, we know we’re getting bison ribs,” he said. “That’s why I like the Langley one. There’s so much going on. It’s one of our favourites.”

Having worked in the airline industry, Waldron travelled a fair amount and experienced real southern barbecue, that’s what got him involved in competing.

“The food is excellent. It’s a great way to sample real barbecue,” he noted. “It’s nice to give food away and see people’s reactions to it, what they think. Anyone with an interest in barbecuing should attend for fun.”

Another of the co-producers, Rob Rabby is a firefighter with the Langley City Fire Rescue. Langley City firefighters will greet visitors, collect donations, provide wristbands and a bowl of chili on Saturday or a pulled pork sandwich on Sunday.

There will be limited sampling of the teams’ creations – while supplies last and food trucks will be on site. Look for cooking demonstrations, vendors, and growler beer sales from KPU’s Brew Lab near the entrance.

The event will be back at Cascades Casino next year, when renovations are complete as McKay notes they are long-term event supporters.

This year, it’s at KPU’s lot L3 behind the Best Western hotel at the northeast corner of the campus. Parking in lot L2 will be free.

 

Just Posted

Missing woman last seen downtown Chilliwack in late April

Family concerned for Rebecca Lynne Sackley’s well-being

Chilliwack prolific offender arrested after four months on the lam

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan in January

Two week lock down lifted for Kent Institution

A search at the prison found nearly 26 grams of hashish and a cellphone

Harrison Hot Springs to partner with Sts’ailes for reconciliation event

The event will be funded by a grant meant to build dialogue between cities and local First Nations

Ryan McMahon brings new tunes to Acoustic Emporium in Chilliwack

Album is ‘snapshot of a soon-to-be middle-aged man trying to beat the blues,’ says singer-songwriter

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP target speeders between Abbotsford and Surrey in month-long blitz

Officers throughout the province launch Swoop campaign

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Most Read