Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair - A taste of southern barbecue

Dec 19 2017, 3:33 pm

It’s the long weekend and if you love barbecue, the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair is a must destination. There are professional barbecue teams vying for a championship. The smell of hickory smoke and the sight of ribs over a barbecue will make the drive worthwhile. There are Canadian champions barbecuing ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket for you to enjoy. You might think what do Canadians know about barbecue? A visit to Cloverdale will provide a memorable taste of southern style barbecue. This is a Memphis barbecue style competition.

Rib Fest Competition

At the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair you get to be a judge in the Rib Fest Competition. The public judges the champion! There are three professional teams vying for this prestigious trophy and winnings. While it is a friendly competition you can benefit by eating ribs that are delicious and different. You might describe the three teams as carnie BBQers. You will find the three competitors near the Stetson Bowl.

The prices are reasonable for the portion sizes. Plus, you can order pulled pork, beef brisket and various side dishes from the three barbecue pit teams.

The ribs are smoked first and grilled later just prior to serving to the waiting public. The ribs will be on the grill for three to four hours. These serious and professional barbecue teams are made up of family and friends. They all love the atmosphere of the fair, cooking food and the food itself.

Each team has their secret recipes for the most important ingredient = the barbecue sauce. These recipes have been developed and evolved over the years with self-testing and feedback from the public. With this much care and attention, these might be the best ribs you have ever eaten. If you pride yourself on your barbecue ribs abilities you might want to compare here.

While it is difficult to master the quality of the ribs to the sheer volume of the fair eaters, these three barbecue pit teams do a great job. Your money will be well spent sampling each of the three teams ribs and other meats. For $9 you can get a side of ribs and for higher prices more ribs and/or other barbecue meat dishes.

The professional barbecue teams finesse is around the balance of sweetness and barbecue flavouring. Generally, we love sweetness with some saltiness. Their success is finding the spices, seasonings and secret ingredients that make the best tasting sauce. Corn syrup balanced with cider vinegar and brown sugar is one method.


There is an all female barbecue team called the Smokin’ Babes led by Jessica Kyllo. She is from North Vancouver and is a veteran barbecue champion. Her team is comprised of girl friends and call-ups. She takes the competition serious and has a number of trophies. Her ribs barbecue sauce is deep red with some spice hit. The flavour is sweeter with the meat grilled to perfection. Very satisfying and enjoyable.

Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair - A Taste of Southern Barbecue

Prairie Smoke and Spice is between the Smokin’ Babes and Smoke & Bones team set-ups. The pit master is Rob Reinhardt from Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan. His wife Jacy joins him as well as local help. Another professional with numerous titles and trophies. This is his full-time job so you know the ribs are excellent. Prairie Smoke and Spice rib sauces is tangier than most as it complements the ribs better. Like his competitors the meat is cooked to perfection. His ribs have a unique taste profile that is difficult to quantify, but easy to enjoy.

Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair - A Taste of Southern Barbecue

Smoke and Bones is the third professional team. Justin Kyllo is Jessica’s dad and another worthy champion. He runs two catering companies in North Vancouver as well as entering barbecue competitions across Canada and the USA. Justin is passionate about barbecuing and the art of southern style barbecue. He has carefully approached this cuisine with tweaking and customer feedback. His barbecue ribs sauce is sweet yet with a kick from various seasonings.

Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair - A Taste of Southern Barbecue

The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair is open all long weekend. You can get there from Highway 1 or Highway 99. Check with Google Maps on the best route. Admission is $10 to get onto the Fair grounds. Parking ranges in prices, but you will want to be close to the fair grounds. Take some time to chat with the three pit crews when sampling their barbecue meats. Who knows, they might share their secrets!

Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair

Address: 6560 176th Street, Surrey, V3S 4E7

Phone: 604-576-9461

Twitter: @cloverdalerodeo


Connect with Randy on Twitter @airschis.

Vancity Buzz is proud to be the official blog partner of the 2013 Cloverdale Rodeo.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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