The Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally returns this month after skipping what would have been its second annual event last year due to COVID-19-related shutdowns.
The rally, organized by the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, will smoke and sizzle from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 24 at Yelm City Park.
“Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally will be back saucier and smokier than ever,” said Line Roy, executive director of the chamber.
The event will feature kids activities, a beer garden, live music, a pie eating contest, and an amateur BBQ competition as well as business and food vendors.
“I invite everyone to come out. Bring your friends and family (to) enjoy a truly amazing day with us,” Roy said. “The farmers market will be running concurrently right across the street, the splash pad and playground will be open for kids, and we are excited to show off what Yelm can offer.”
Roy said fundraising to support the chamber’s mission is certainly part of the event’s scope, but she wants it to mean much more than that to the community.
“While this is ultimately one of the largest fundraisers for the Yelm Chamber of Commerce … we are also excited to bring an event to the community that unites it,” she said. “Yelm has so many awesome activities in the summer. We are excited to be a part of that.”
Shelley Nicholson, co-chair of the rally, said the event is a boon for the community.
“The Yelm community loves to come together and have family fun,” she said. “This has something for everyone. … It is time to get out and see friends and celebrate one of the best events Yelm has to offer.”
And the event is the perfect opportunity for community members to celebrate now that the state has reopened, Roy said.
“If there’s anything that we really noticed throughout 2020, it’s that Yelm loves to celebrate,” she said. “We were missing that last year, but we are so happy to get to do it again. We’re breathing some life back into this city of ours.”
In light of the state’s move to relax COVID-19-related restrictions, Roy said there are no longer strict precautions planned for the event. With that in mind, she said the chamber is moving forward “as normal,” but added those who want to wear masks and remain socially distant at the event are more than welcome to participate.
Nicholson said she is more than excited for the rally, detailing how much she was looking forward to “the smell when you step out of the car (and seeing) the vendors getting ready to bring on their A game to the people of Yelm and beyond.”
Nicholson said she is also looking forward to the pie-eating contest.
“The messy-faced kids and adults alike are hilarious,” she said.
Roy said she’s just excited to see the community come together again.
“The 2019 event was so much fun and we had such a great time all day,” she said. “I know that this will be the same. I’m looking forward to hearing The Prohibition Band and The Lemmings up on stage. I’m looking forward to sneaking away to the beer garden for a drink with friends. I’m looking forward to having a plate of BBQ.”
The Yelm Chamber of Commerce partnered with the city of Yelm, used volunteer committee members and received support from sponsors to make the event possible.
Those who wish to participate should visit www.bbqrally.com or call the chamber at 360-458-6608.
Given all the excitement planned, Roy said she might get a little sentimental.
“I just am so excited to see it all come together,” she said. “If you see me happy-crying in the middle of Yelm City Park on July 24th, just let me have my moment.”