Celebrating PC BBQ Town for a day 0
An honour bestowed upon Strathmore not only granted the community bragging rights, but on July 14, drew it a little tighter together than before.
The town of Strathmore won one of nine secondary prizes in the President's Choice (PC) BBQ Town contest, granting it a stop along the company's first ever, nation-wide PC BBQ Town tour.
"There were tens of thousands of votes cast for the top 20 semi-finalists, and in some cases, there were less than 100 votes that separated the communities," said Loblaw Companies Ltd. Corporate Affairs Specialist, Angela Madaski, in an email.
A barbeque on any given weekend would draw a crowd. So I wondered what sort of turnout one could expect at a free, mega-sized barbeque party thrown by a company with a line-up of tasty summer treats waiting on the grill.
By the time the party started at 2 p.m., Kinsmen Park was already absolutely packed.
People of all ages were lined up at each food tent, and many even brought along their dogs, which eagerly licked children's hands while slyly eyeing up the free foodstuffs.
Of which, there was a lot. From PC burgers and sliders, and lamb and chicken kebobs with naan bread, to potato chips, penguin crackers and carrot sticks with Ranch dip. There was also a number of PC sparkling fruit beverages on hand, and even a pink ice cream truck on hand to help picnickers beat the heat.
Food tent line ups were often long, and involved up to a 45-minute wait, but catchy tunes such as Cotton Eye Joe, The Bird Dance and The Twist kept kids and adults alike entertained, and moods upbeat.
PC even brought in a slew of professional entertainers to engage the crowd.
Between outrageous wardrobe changes, a pair of stilt walkers poked and teased the people waiting in line, shared their thoughts on high fashion, and then strode off to flirt and mingle some more.
A juggler, appropriately situated between the ice cream truck and Strathmore fire fighters' tent, heated things up just a bit more when he added a bit of fire to the mix.
Children stood in line for colourful balloon creations like monkeys climbing palm trees, toothy crocodiles, and light sabers.
Then, only steps away, was a face painting station where children's faces were transformed into the visages of creatures of a different sort. Not a one walked away without a smile on his or her face. Real ones not of the virtual, paint-applied variety, either.
Even the PC BBQ Town staff seemed chipper, as I repeatedly caught sight of one man breaking out his dance moves behind the grill, spatula in hand.
And so it was that on Saturday, July 14, despite a muggy, overcast sky, the town of Strathmore came together to celebrate a fun-filled day of free food, entertainment, family, and friends, old and new.
There really is nothing like a community barbecue.