Nothing quite says summer like a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue.
It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic summer activity than relaxing outside in the warm, summer sun with a cold brew and a few buddies, some music playing in the background and the smell of roasting meat wafting out from under the lid of a sizzling barbecue.
“We take that idea of a backyard barbecue and upgrade it to 1,000 people,” said Joshua Kearns, manager at Dusty’s Bar and BBQ in Whistler Creek, describing the atmosphere of the Canadian National Barbecue Championships being hosted at the venue Aug. 3 to 5.
For the event, the most talented barbecue chefs from all over North America compete for the title of Canadian Champion, plus an invitation to the World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee and World Barbecue Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“In terms of summer events, this has really turned into a premier event,” said Kearns. “It is really one of the best parties of the summertime.”
This year, barbecue fans can sample the competitors’ mouth-watering roasted ribs, chicken and meats using a new token program.
“We changed things a bit this year so now instead of the $5 tasting passes, we are using $1 tokens at the tasting booths,” he said. “Each token is $1 donation and can also be used for barbecue samplers or activities like the new mechanical bull ride.”
Kearns said the bull ride was a fun new attraction that was geared towards every level of rider.
“It’s pretty fun,” he said. “And anyone – any age – can ride it.”
In addition to all the food, the event features tons of live entertainment, including Whistler’s own Whole Lotta Led – Led Zeppelin tribute band, and an Elvis impersonator.
“I’m a big Elvis fan, so I’m kind of looking forward to Darren Lee,” said Kearns. “He is the best Elvis impersonator in North America, so it should be really fun.”
If you think you’ve got the grilling skills to match the pros, you can also compete in the event.
“On Saturday, there is a Backyard Barbecue Burger Competition, the C.A.S.I. International Chili Championships and the Budweiser King of the Grill competition, which are all open to the public,” said Kearns.
Saturday also features Dusty’s famous Whole Hog Roast dinner for $20.
And if you think your taste buds are really up to the task, you can even judge some of the mouth-watering entries.
“They give you a class, you get your membership to the association and you can judge any championships in the Pacific Northwest, afterwards,” said Kearns. “It’s a can’t-miss experience for people who love barbecues, food, music and good times. It’s a backyard barbecue with thousands of people.”
The Canadian National BBQ Championships run Aug. 3 to 5 at Dusty’s Bar and BBQ in Creekside.
Go to whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/events/detail/bbqchamps/index.htm for more information or to register as a competitor or judge.