Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his family are spreading the word about a massive party at the family home in suburban Etobicoke tonight, with his brother Doug Ford voicing an automated message urging nearby residents to attend.
The Ford Fest barbecue gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Friday at 15 Weston Wood Rd. near Royal York Road and Eglinton Avenue.
The mayor has sent out email invitations and has put the invite on his Facebook page.
On Thursday, Coun. Doug Ford had sent automated messages to several local numbers.
"I'd like you to join my family and me tomorrow at our annual backyard barbecue, Ford Fest. It's going to be a fun-filled evening with live music, dancing, barbecue and lots of beverages," Doug Ford says in the message.
One of the musical acts will be Gently Bent, a classic rock ensemble for which Coun. Gary Crawford plays drums.
The family expects upwards of 5,000 people to drop by during the course of the day.
Doug Ford said security is obviously a concern.
"We have a tremendous amount of security. We've hired a security firm. We have paid duty officers to direct the traffic. We'll have private security within the backyard," he said.
The barbecue is a 12-year tradition, popular with supporters — and increasingly in recent years —curious citizens.
This year, members of the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have set up a Facebook page inviting more than 6,000 people to show up.
Doug Ford says group members are welcome as long as they are respectful.
The barbecue comes at the conclusion of a trying week for the mayor, who testified on Wednesday in relation to allegations he violated conflict of interest rules over his participation in a council vote that absolved him of a directive to pay back $3,150 in donations that were given to his football foundation.
If Ford is found by Justice Charles Hackland to have been in a conflict of interest position, he could lose his job.