Big Lakes BBQ returns June 22

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lake County has set its annual barbecue for June 22.

At its regular meeting April 12, council approved the date for the event at the county administration office grounds in High Prairie from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The county hosts a barbecue for the public every June,” says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

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

“This is a popular interactive event with the public, council and staff.”

Recipients of the Wall of Fame are also honoured in a brief ceremony during the event.

Two council members propose major changes to the annual event.

North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk suggested the event be held in conjunction with the Town of High Prairie.

“To me, we’re a team,” Zabolotniuk says.

He notes that the event is mainly organized by Big Lakes Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), which serves both Big Lakes and High Prairie.

“Have we ever asked the town to be a partner – it’s FCSS?” Zabolotniuk says.

South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart responded.

“It’s a county event,” Stewart says.

Reeve Robert Nygaard again suggested the barbecue be held outside High Prairie.

“We could have the barbecue in one of the hamlets,” says Nygaard, who represents the hamlet of Faust.”

“How about Kinuso?”

No other council member agreed with him at the meeting and in other years he has suggested a new location for the annual event.

In the past, the event has been well-attended with up to 700 people attending, Olansky notes.

About 300 people attended last year after the event was cancelled in 2021 and 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

Prior to that, about 440 attended the previous event in 2019.

Council budgets $10,000 for the barbecue, Olansky says.

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