07/05/2013 12:06 EDT | Updated 09/04/2013 05:12 EDT

'Ford Fest' promises food, fun and Fords at mayor's BBQ

The mayor's 13th annual Ford Fest summer cookout is migrating for the first time from the family's Etobicoke stomping ground to Scarborough tonight.

As many as 5,000 people are expected to attend the public family event — billed as a massive backyard barbecue — at Thomson Memorial Park, located at Brimley Road just north of Lawrence Avenue.

The free bash has, in the past, been hosted at Mayor Rob Ford's suburban Etobicoke residence, with his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, and other members of the Ford family mingling with constituents and serving up grilled food and beverages.

But this year's decision to move the festivities to Scarborough, a campaign battleground for the mayor, has raised some eyebrows from critics who questioned whether the mix-and-mingle could be interpreted as an early campaign event, which would be in breach of the Municipal Elections Act.

The rain-or-shine party is expected to welcome guests from 6 to 10 p.m.

A second Ford barbeque will be held at a later date in Etobicoke.