The Kleefeld Honey Festival has seen a complete turn around over the last few years.
That according to coordinator Gord Meneer. The Kleefeld Honey Festival is on this weekend and Meneer notes with the Canadian National Chili Cook-Off Championship and the firefighters challenge both being added to the festival in recent years, interest in the Kleefeld Honey Festival has been growing.
"We've really brought it back to the roots and brought events back in that people can relate with and bring back home and really understand what is going on. The family activities, the kid's activities, the parade, everything has increased because people see the value in what we are doing and it is just a very positive thing for families and the community to get together and do."
Meneer says the chili cook-off has been a real highlight since it became the national championship two years ago.
"We sold a record number of chili lunches today because we do a lunch special that the people of the community can come and vote which chili they like the best and compare that to what our judges from the Kansas City Barbecue Society have judged already and the results of their expertise and what they think is the best chili out there."
Meneer says alongside the new events like the firefighter challenge that draws firefighters from all over the southeast, they have events for the whole family. He notes they really hope to keep the momentum from recent years going.
"We want to build on what we are doing here with the chili cook-off, we want to build the family and the sport of the firefighters, our fireworks are phenomenal, the music and entertainment that we have, we are just trying to make it that much better every year."
Jared Blatz of the Steinbach Fire Department was the winner of the Firefighters Challenge.