The Bulkley Valley Kinsmen’s extremely scaled-down version of the annual Telkwa BBQ will be going ahead.
While a majority of the festivities have been cancelled such as the demo derby and softball tournament, the BBQ portion of the event and the tradition of Beef on a Bun is slated to go ahead.
The Village of Telkwa has offered the club the use of the community hall free of charge to help volunteers manage stringent guidelines and protocols.
“The use of the hall is extremely beneficial the Bulkley Valley Kinsmen because it allows us access to a full food safe kitchen, multiple wash facilities and an indoor space to prepare and package the Beef on a Bun,” said Lisa O’Sullivan.
The beef on a bun will not be sold at the community hall but in a drive-thru style at Race Trac Gas Station in Telkwa and at the Smithers Legion on Sept. 7.
The BBQ is the longest-running event in B.C. and the Kinsmen don’t want to lose that status.
“It started in 1912, this is the 108th year,” said District 5 Kin Governor Lonny Wiebe to Village Council.
“Even during these interesting times with the pandemic, it would be a shame to see the longest-running B.C. event skip a year and end that timeline.”
The club is still looking for a few more volunteers.
“We are looking for a few more people to lend a hand to help lighten the load for our small service group, meat cutters especially,” said O’Sullivan. “We ask that people who are able to help contact us ahead of time so we are able to properly log the required information to meet the requirements of our safety plan.”
The club has outlined several safety precautions such as keeping the attendance at the cooking to a minimum, inviting RCMP to monitor, getting a fire permit, handling food and cash with adherence to food safety regulations and following enhanced cleaning protocols. Masks and hand sanitizer would also be used by everyone involved.
The annual event raises money for the community, but this year organizers are expecting less money to come in.
“We have decreased the cost of beef on a bun to $5 to help minimize the need for cash exchange,” added O’Sullivan. “Therefore, we do fully anticipate a decrease in money raised for the community this year, but due to current circumstances, we are focusing more on maintaining the community tradition and continuation of the 108 years of BBQ Beef for the Bulkley Valley. We look forward to seeing the smiling faces of our local community, even if it’s from a safe distance”
Village of Telkwa Council made it clear at its last council meeting Aug. 18 that they are in favour of the event going ahead.
“The 108th … we have to keep it going, even if we have to stand out there in gowns and masks, we’ll make sure it gets done,” said Mayor Brad Layton.