Barbecue stays in High Prairie, change of venue denied

Big Lakes County Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard, left, and Grouard Councillor Jeff Chalifoux barbecuing hotdogs at the Big Lakes County barbecue in June 2023. Both want to explore rotating the event between the west and east ends of the county.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has scheduled its annual county barbecue for late June, despite a suggestion to hold the event in the east end of the county.

At its regular meeting March 13, council set the date for the popular event for June 20 at the county administration office in High Prairie from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Council hosts an annual barbecue for the public every June, says Pat Olansky, director of community services and planning.

“This event is held in June to encourage ratepayers to come in and pay their taxes in person and have lunch at the office,” Olansky says.

“Traditionally, this has been a well-attended event with up to 700 people attending.”

Over the past years, council has served beef-on-a-bun, hotdogs and salads prepared by Big Lakes County Family and Community Services (FCSS).

The event also includes a brief ceremony to honour top nominated volunteers and unveil the names on the Wall of Fame.

While the event has always been held in High Prairie, council discussed the option of moving the event to the eastern end of the county in Faust or Kinuso, where the County has a satellite office.

Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard has suggested the idea for several years but received littel little support from council.

“Robert wants it in Faust,” Reeve Tyler Airth said as he started the discussion.

“Maybe there will be more people,” Nygaard suggested.

Nygaard emphasized it’s a county barbecue and proposed it be held in the county, not always in High Prairie.

Grouard Councillor Jeff Chalifoux agreed.

“Maybe Kinuso should be considered for next year,” said Chalifoux, who made a motion that council consider Kinuso for 2025.

“It’s worth exploring.”

Nygaard and Chalifoux voted in favour of the motion.

Airth, Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin, North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolot- niuk and Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Lane Monteith voted against.

Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt, South Gilwood – Sunset House Councillor Ann Stewart and Heart River – Salt Prairie Councillor Garrett Zahacy were absent from the meeting.

Zabolotniuk wondered about a location in Kinuso.

“Where would we hold it?” Zaboltniuk asked.

Holding the event in High Prairie is all about logistics, Olansky said.

“We have the large outdoor space in High Prairie, FCSS staff and public works staff here to set it up and take it down,” she said.

More than 300 people attended the barbecue last year and about 300 in 2022 after the event was cancelled in 2021 and 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

Before, about 440 attended the previous event in 2019.

Council budgets $10,000 annually for the barbecue, Olansky said.

Share this post

Post Comment