Gastown BBQ and Chili Fest returns!

2012 Gastown BBQ, outside the Irish Heather.

2012 Gastown BBQ, outside the Irish Heather.

If you like barbecue, chili, live music and outdoor fun in an urban setting, you’ll want to trek over to Gastown Aug. 30 & 31 for the third annual Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival. Over 12 area restaurants and bars will participate in an outdoor cookout during the weekend event, which includes celebrity judges, live music and even a beer stand.

Participating restaurants include Calabash Bistro, Chill Winston, Lamplighter, Blarney Stone, Tuc, Lamplighter, Railtown Cafe, Gringo, the Charles, the Irish Heather, The Hastings Warehouse and Deacon’s Corner. On the menu:  barbecued pork ribs, chicken wings, beef brisket, and more. Judges (what a tough job!) include radio and TV personalities such as Joe Leary (this year’s celebrity host) and sports figures like former B.C. Lion Angus Reid and (for the the third time – he must really like his barbecue!) former Canuck Jason Garrison.

For the event, picnic tables will be set up on the 200 block of Carrall Street between Water and Cordova. There’ll be a wing-eating contest, a pig roast, and musical entertainment, including the local bands Bend Sinister, the Sheets and funk/soul band The Deep End, as well as a major headliner yet to be announced.

Bend Sinister, coming to a barbecue near you.

Bend Sinister, coming to a barbecue near you.

The all-ages festival is free to attend. Tokens for barbecue and chili sampling will be available for purchase at the event, with proceeds going to Athletics for Kids, a non-profit that provides financial aid to help children throughout the province participate in organized sports. For more info visit gastownbbq.com.

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