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

SLIDESHOW: Symphony in the Park

Free concert at Mill Lake featured Abbotsford’s young orchestra talent

VIDEO: Abbotsford police arrest man suspected of using pepper-spray against another man

Police cruisers collide in pursuit of suspect fleeing on a stolen bicycle

Heffernan to be acclaimed as Abbotsford Liberal candidate

Author and Jati Sidhu assistant to face-off against Ed Fast

Man charged with robbery of Abbotsford bank has multiple convictions

Mitchell Mousseau, 48, turned himself in to police on Aug. 11

NBA talent coaching at BC Bounce camp in Abbotsford

Former Dallas Mavericks guard Kyle Collinsworth coming to town

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Young balance-bikers race in B.C.’s inaugural Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Most Read