All that stands between Oak Bay and a couple of bike repair stations is 2,500 sausages.
Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation hopes to see that many with this weekend’s second annual Sausage Fest.
With Victoria’s emphasis on cycling infrastructure and health and wellness a focus of the department, Oak Bay Fire Fighter Charitable Foundation plans to raise funds for bike fix stations in the community, alongside their other causes.
“We’re trying to get at least two bike fix stations somewhere in the McNeill Bay area and near the rec. centre,” said Jason Hodge, Oak Bay firefighter and executive director of the foundation. Locations, he noted, would be at the municipality’s discretion.
A portion of funds raised is slated for the Monterey Middle School’s second phase in its outdoor play space.
The two initiatives are in line with the foundation causes.
Last year’s inaugural event raised close to $10,000 that went to Willows elementary, prostate cancer programs and research and the charitable foundation’s other causes. Being a firefighter is not just about fires and emergencies, it’s also about giving back and making a difference in your community, Hodge said. The foundation funds a variety of projects and community groups from Oak Bay schools to athletics and larger organizations including the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund – a fundraising body for firefighters throughout the province.
Red Barn, Whole Beast, Village Butcher and Slater’s Meats all return as sponsors with the addition of vegan sausages courtesy Very Good Butchers.
“We cooked 1,100 sausages last year, this year we’re shooting for 2,500. Hopefully it’ll be busier this year,” said Hodge. He expects a shift from September for last year’s event to June should boost numbers.
Last year was cool and windy before the start scaring organizers a bit before cleaning up nicely.
“You get more traffic off the Esplanade that way,” Hodge said.
Oak Bay firefighters add a little sweetness to Sausage Fest alongside meat from various vendors – including vegan sausages this year – Sweet Delights will be on hand for a little sugar and a host of other local volunteer and charitable groups will offer information.
“The community can find out what they do,” Hodge said.
Fired Up! Ceramics will be on site with inexpensive small-craft projects with a portion of proceeds toward the charity. The event builds on local talent for the rotation of entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening.
Sausage Fest is slated for June 24 from noon to 9 p.m. at Willows Beach Park.
Visit oakbayfirefighters.com to learn more about the foundation.