Kleefeld Honey Festival

Where honey meets chili

Sample championship chilis for lunch at the festival.

Rachel Sarah

Over one weekend this summer, the town of Kleefeld will be hosting some of the sweetest and spiciest treats in the country - and possibly the world.

The festival’s fifth annual chili cookoff does double duty as the finals for the Canadian Food Championships. Entrants’ creations will be judged by members of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. While the grand winner will receive a cash and travel package to send them off to Georgia for the World Food Championships, there’s also a category for “people’s choice.”

“You have the chance to come in, taste five chilis, vote for your favourite of all of them, and there is a prize pack that goes to that person,” Nicole Rempel, president of the Honey Festival Committee says.

$5 gets attendees a sample platter of chilis - more than enough for a filling lunch, Rempel says.

On the sweeter side, John Russell honey will also be in attendance with both plain and flavoured honeys (think coffee, blueberry, maple or chocolate).

“Kleefeld has been known as the land of milk and honey for many years. It came into being in the early ’60s when we had the highest amount of honey producers in the province of Manitoba,” Rempel says.

While they’re down from the 30 to 40 producers that filled the area in its heyday, they still boast at least a dozen producers as well as many individual hobbyists.

On the Friday evening, the festival will host an outdoor movie night under cover of their picnic shelter. Early risers can catch a free pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. on Saturday, and could stick around for a parade, concerts, a baseball tournament and more.

At the end of the evening, Rempel promises “the best fireworks in Southern Manitoba,” (according to their sound guy).

WHEN Aug. 11 to 13

WHERE Kleefeld, Man. 

$$$ Free (some food-based events have fees)

DON'T MISS Trying a platter of championship chilis

WEBSITE kleefeldpark.ca

Published in Volume 71, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 1, 2017)

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