BARBECUE stalls are a favourite at any carnival and the University of Fiji Sugar Festival is no different.
The festival has attracted a huge number of barbecue vendors with some travelling from as far as Suva, Labasa and Ba to cook their own version of the popular dish.
Winners of the 2013 Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus best island theme presentation and decorated stall, Fantabulous Chef's Bula Chowmein BBQ, said vending at the Sugar Festival had been a challenge for them.
"We've been doing this for about six years and we've noticed a decrease in the crowd at the Sugar Festival from the time we started coming," said Maika Baleiwai, one of the owners of the stall.
"I think it's because of the withdrawal of big sponsors because during their time, there were large stages set up for entertainment every day, during the day and at night.
"I think the Hibiscus is still by far the best festival in terms of getting business and attracting crowds."
Mr Baleiwai said charges for the stalls were expensive compared to previous years.
"We were charged $1500 for each stall and that is too expensive for a festival where it's a bit difficult to make business.
"I hope that as the days go, we will see a more improved turnout."
Suva Chowmein's Mark Ross said the weather had an effect on business as well.
"It rains at night and that's the time we expect a large crowd but I think that's what's been keeping the crowd away," Mr Ross said.
"For us, the Farmers Festival is the better festival in Lautoka in terms of business."
Another specialised stall hoping to make some money is Vote City BBQ from Nadi.
"This is the first time we've been to all the festivals in the country including the Friendly North Festival," said Pene Erenio.
"It's good business and we make money but when you compare the Sugar Festival to the other festivals, it's not the same."