Rusty Johnson of Rusty’s BBQ was anything but rusty as he won the grand champion title at the Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ in Langley City May 13-15. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Rusty Johnson of Rusty’s BBQ was anything but rusty as he won the grand champion title at the Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ in Langley City May 13-15. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Despite ‘dreary’ weather, Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ generates $4K in donations

“There were a hundred-plus people with umbrellas’

After two-and-a-half years on the sidelines, Rusty Johnson of Rusty’s BBQ was happy to be back in his original hometown of Langley to compete in the pandemic-postponed Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ.

“It was hard, to do a hard stop with Covid,” Rusty told the Langley Advance Times.

“We watched teams from other parts in the world start up again early, so sitting back and watching was hard.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Canada’s largest Chili and BBQ competition is underway in Langley City

As it turned out, there were many others who’d been waiting for the return of the competition, too, and they showed up up over the three days it was being held in Langley City, from May 13 – 15.

A few days later, on Wednesday, May 18, Langley City Fire Rescue IAFF Local 3253 vice-president Rob Rabby reported the event had raised just over $4,000 for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association camp for kids with burn injuries.

Previous to the pandemic, the Chili festivals in Langley City tended to generate donations in the $4,000 to 6,000 range, and considering the miserable weather, Rabby was pleased with the tally.

“We did really good, even though it rained so hard on Sunday,” Rabby remarked. “There were a hundred-plus people with umbrellas [visiting].”

“This was our 10th year [working with the festival], minus COVID,” Rabby estimated.

READ ALSO: Langley’s Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ is called off for second year

Johnson, a perennial winner, was crowned grand champion of the festival, winning the sandwich, bacon, and ribs categories.

It was a “wet, dreary” day, but a “great weekend” said Johnson, who also won three tickets to the world food competitions in bacon, sandwich, and barbecues.

“Getting our first win while still being (pun intended) rusty was extra special,” Johnson commented.

Born in Langley and currently living in Port Moody, Johnson said he will be taking part in that community’s Ribfest from July 15 to 17, and hopes “to be in my hometown Langley Ribfest soon.”


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