Kiwanis Chicken BBQ in East Aurora
The Kiwanis Club of East Aurora’s Annual Chicken BBQ originated in 1954 as a Family Picnic.
Like a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting, families from all over town picnicked in the shade of the giant trees in Hamlin Park as the smoke and smell of barbequed chicken summoned people from the village streets.
Over the years the BBQ has grown. For many years four pits, manned by all Kiwanians, roasted a total of 5,000 chicken halves. The baste was a secret recipe of John Birkland’s and all chickens were slow roasted and basted many times for maximum flavor.
In 2005 Kiwanis President Jim Collins decided the Kiwanians were getting too old for all the strenuous work and hired BW Smokin’ Barrels to do the cooking – they continue the tradition of slow roasting with lots of baste for maximum flavor.
It’s been 60 years and families continue to carry on the tradition of picnicking in Hamlin Park while the East Aurora High School Band serenades and children enjoy the playground. It’s a beautiful sight in our grand town.
Thanks to the residents who show up the first Wednesday of every June and support Kiwanis so that Kiwanis can support our community.
The Kiwanis Chicken BBQ is a tradition deep in the roots of East Aurora's history.