The organizer of BBQ on the Bypass is in a bind.
The annual autumn event has grown popular in its seven years, leaving little room for future growth.
"It's definitely at capacity at that site," said organizer Angie Quaale. "If I move the event, it can no longer be a free event."
A move would mean increased costs, such as space rentals.
She said the goal is to keep it a free public event, the only free barbecue event in B.C.
Well Seasoned, her store, covers several costs and neighbouring businesses have joined in to help. Nufloors, for instance, provided space for the judges and the pie tasting contest. She noted that the City and Township also support the event each year.
BBQ on the Bypass Sept. 16 attracted thousands.
"Our best guestimate is just over 5,000," Quaale said.
Those attending seemed to enjoy the array of samples, information booths, vendors, entertainment and atmosphere.
Visitors also helped pick Deadman BBQ as the people's choice winner.
"That was a big hit," she said of the contest.
House of Q, which won BBQ on the Bypass in 2008, was named grand champion and earned the right to compete at the Jack Daniel World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee Oct. 27.
Quaale noted that the winner of the pie contest, Joan MacIntosh, has won three years in a row. This year's winner was her rum raisin pie.
The Black Box Contest required the teams to create a dish using all the ingredients in the box - this year those were turkey legs, sundried tomato and powered molasses.
The teams has to whip up a dish even as they were cooking up the competition dishes (chicken, pork, brisket and pork ribs).
Teams came from around the Pacific Northwest and as far as away as southeastern Alberta.
Langley's Medicinal Smokers are family and friends of MS patient Bob Davidson. This was their first BBQ on the Bypass. They came in third in the recent CarBQ at the Jim Pattison Auto Mall and decided to give the local event a try.
In preparation, they've been digging up recipes, test-driving them and learning about barbecue.
"We just kept smoking, every day for 10 days since we signed up," Davidson said.
The Rib Mafia of Puyallup, Wash., with its three members, all seasoned barbecuers, was another first-time BBQ on the Bypass competitor.
With some meats having to cook up to 14 hours, the team gets little sleep before the big day.
"We usually roll out cots and roll out sleeping bags," said Bill Stock.
The members take turns tending the slow roasting meats such as brisket.
When asked why they wanted to attend, the answer was: because of the quality of the organization. Stock said it can be summed it up on one word - "Angie."
BBQ on the Bypass winners
- Grand champions: House of Q
- Reserve champions: Smokey's BBQ
1. Brisket Case BBQ
2. Leukemia Sucks Too
3. Smokey's BBQ
1. Bush Kitchen
2. C-Dubs BBQ
3. Rusty's BBQ
1. House of Q
2. Smokey's BBQ
3. Brisket Case BBQ
1. House of Q
2. Rusty's BBQ
3. Smokey's BBQ
Black Box contest:
1. Barking Boys
2. Taboo BBQ
3. House of Q
Team spirit award: Deadman BBQ
Pie making contest: Joan MacIntosh for her rum raisin pie