Stanley Park is getting a little ‘southernized’

With summer nearly gone, Unbuckled is the perfect event for those who don’t want to let go—the southern way

Colder days are coming, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a day of bluegrass rhythms, sporting competitions, picnic eats and very (southern) good times while the relatively nice weather is still around. Unbuckled, an event that combines all of the aforementioned, is coming back to Stanley Park for its second Annual Backyard BBQ Bash this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Brockton Baseball Diamond.“This festival was inspired by the idea of creating an adult sports day,” says Scott Emslie, founder of Unbuckled and owner of Wet Ape Productions, the company behind the event. “We wanted adults to enjoy the same games of their youth in a fun casual environment. We then added a country twist and a number of social elements like the Ranchman’s Grill, Tippler’s Saloon, and live music in Fandango Holler.” Potato-sack races, a mechanical bull, dancing competitions and giant beer pong are some of the games that can be played at the 19+ event.Celebrating their second anniversary, this year’s festival has brought along some changes. “We’ve added dodgeball, extended the hours and increased the capacity from 2,000 guests to 2,500,” Emslie says. But one of the main focuses of the event has stayed the same: southern cuisine. “At the Ranchman’s Grill, we have Peckinpah serving Dr. Pepper rib ends topped with red eye mayo and green onions, paired with a southern succotash salad,” Emslie says. But fear not, vegetarians—this isn’t the actual south, after all. Vegetarian options include veggie dogs, Cup-a-Corn, salads, baked beans and cornbread (Emslie says he is well aware of Vancouver’s large vegetarian population).Unbuckled-9428As for the music, Vancouver-based duo The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Saskatchewan’s Willhorse, and the Roxy’s Cabaret newest house band Locked & Loaded will be filling up the stage with country vibes, bluegrass beats and cowboy love songs starting at 6 p.m.The festival’s focus, as Emslie puts it, “is to create a fun, unpretentious day filled with games, live music and BBQ in a beautiful venue in the downtown core. The environment that is created at Unbuckled is a ton of fun, and there is a real sense of community and engagement at the festival.” So there you have it, y’all. Put your boots on and get ready to unbuckle. Tickets are available online.