Back at Barefoot with Flair

FlairFest 12 will have bartenders pulling out all the stops at the Barefoot Beach Resort from July 31-Aug. 2.

Co-organizor Neil MacDonald of the 2014 Barefoot Beach Bartender Battle shows some flair of his own at the Barefoot Banana Cabana on the Skaha beach. This year's event runs July 31 to Aug. 2.

Canada’s longest running bartending competition is taking over the Barefoot Beach Resort starting Friday.

Dave Simpson, a veteran flair bartender from Kelowna, started the Bartender’s Guild over a decade ago after getting involved in flamboyant and skillful drink making. Now, he’s set to host FlairFest 12 taking over the Barefoot Beach Resort from July 31 to Aug. 2.

“Here we are 12 years later and we’ve got a pretty awesome hotbed of flair bartenders in the Okanagan, and Western Canada for that matter,” Simpson said.

Seven of the top flair bartenders from Western Canada, including the top flair bartenders in Vancouver, Kamloops, Calgary and Edmonton are on tap to show off their flashiest skills in hopes of taking the title for FlairFest 12.

Bartenders will have six minutes to make seven drinks, in the most creative way possible. They will be judged on technical skill and use of key ingredients and deducted for things like spills and breakages.

“These guys have had this drink list for months in advance, so it’s all about creating that perfect routine. Some of these guys might dress up and have a theme, some of them might set their moves to music,” Simpson said. “A lot of these guys can throw multiple objects, a lot of juggling, it’s pretty exciting stuff.”

Simpson says bartending may be the next big thing, and there has been a rise of fancy drink-fillers in Western Canada.

“You see all these cooking shows, the reality shows like Master Chef and what have you. It’s just a matter of time. The craft cocktail and classic cocktail movement has really boomed and the focus is on bartending again,” Simpson said.

“It’s definitely come a long way since the movie Cocktail,” Simpson said. “I would say it’s definitely on a rise and it has a lot to do with the focus being back on bartending. It’s not just a job you get to get you through school anymore, it’s become a profession that people are taking seriously.”

The fun starts at the Barefoot Beach Resort 6 p.m. Friday with the opening of the beverage gardens, and the Back Porch Big Move starts at 9 p.m., pitting the improvisational and creative skills of flair bartenders against each other with only a mason jar and a bottle to develop the best trick they can on the spot.

On Aug. 1, the beverage gardens open at 1 p.m. and the qualifiers begin at 3 p.m. and another round of qualifiers starts at 8 p.m. The gardens open at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 and the flair finals begin at 8 p.m. with live music from Her Brothers starting at 6 p.m.

The awards ceremony takes place at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will be available at the gate and it’s $10 for a weekend pass.

 

Just Posted

Reports of chaos in Penticton, involving police cruiser and possible shots fired

Residents also reported hearing shots fired at the same time as the crash

Driver held at gunpoint, car-jacked on East Side Road

Penticton RCMP are asking for the public to keep an eye out for the suspect, stolen vehicle

Penticton care aide training centre a first for the Interior

SafeCare BC Satellite Training Centre is now open in Penticton to help continuing care aides

Don’t miss the South Okanagan Similkameen Crime Stoppers fundraiser

The second annual fundraiser takes place Saturday for the South Okanagan Similkameen Crime Stoppers

Crime, substance abuse, public safety and housing listed as Penticton priorities

Penticton City Council to bring up priority issues at UBCM

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Fire at Kelowna home sends three to hospital

The fire which was located on the second floor of the townhouse complex is now out

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Provincial Mobile Medical Unit makes an appearance in Kelowna

The high tech hospital on wheels provides medical care for rural communities and during emergencies

VIDEO: Tempers flare during Sagmoen’s police interview

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Most Read