23rd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge brings the best of barbecue to Summit County | VailDaily.com

23rd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge brings the best of barbecue to Summit County

How will Kansas City's famous BBQ scene cater to an influx of hipsters?
Ben Trollinger / btrollinger@summitdaily.com |

Colorado BBQ Challenge schedule

Thursday, June 16

8–9:30 p.m. — Fela Kuti Tribute featuring members of The Motet and Euforquestra, Music Stage (Madison & Main)

Friday, June 17

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Colorado BBQ Challenge open to the public

Noon to 3 p.m. — Free chef demo and tasting with Chef David Welch of Food Hedz Cafe, BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at Second & Main)

Noon to 8 p.m. — Pig Races, with races at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. (Fourth & Main)

1-2 p.m. — 101st Army Rock Band, Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4-6 p.m. — Bacon Burner 6K registration and packet pick-up, Frisco Town Hall (First & Main)

2:30–-3:30 p.m. — Beau Thomas Band, Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4-5:30 p.m. — Ronnie Baker Brooks, Music Stage (Madison & Main)

6-7:30 p.m. — Breckenridge Distillery’s Rub it, Smoke it, Sip it Whiskey Tour; sold out, Frisco Historic Park Log Chapel

6-8:30 p.m. — Mike Zito Band, Music Stage (Madison & Main)

Saturday, June 18

9:30 a.m. — Bacon Burner 6K, Frisco Bay Marina

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Colorado BBQ Challenge open to the public

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Pig Races, with races at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. (Fourth & Main)

10-11:30 a.m. — The David Mayfield Parade; Music Stage (Madison & Main)

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — BlueStar Kitchen Firefighter Cook-Off; BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at Second & Main)

Noon to 1:15 p.m. — MarchFourth; Music Stage (Madison & Main)

1:45-3:15 p.m. — Great American Taxi; Music Stage (Madison & Main)

3:45-6:30 p.m. — Buckner Funken Jazz; Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4 p.m. — Colorado BBQ Challenge Awards Ceremony; BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at Second & Main)

More details about the Colorado BBQ Challenge can be found at http://www.friscobbq.com or by calling 800-424-1554.

FRISCO — Summit County kicks off summer in the mountains with the 23rd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge on Friday and Saturday in Frisco.

Once a small, local event with barely a dozen teams competing, the Colorado BBQ Challenge today draws more than 70 teams from across the country to Summit County to compete for top honors as the best barbecuers in the Rocky Mountains. The event extends throughout six blocks of Frisco’s Main Street and into the sides streets, as well.


Back by popular demand is the second annual Firefighter Cook-Off. Teams from Dillon, Copper and Breckenridge will entertain audiences with a 90-minute cooking demonstration, each preparing its own secret recipes to be shared with the crowd to determine the winning dish. Celebrity judges, including Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinsin, will be on hand to add their expert opinions.

“There’s a lot of joking going on,” said Lt. Kevin Skaer, of Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, last year’s winning team. “Firefighters are a brotherhood and a family, and just like any other family, we like giving each other a hard time. We love Copper and Red, White and Blue — but we’re not above telling them how badly we are going to beat them.”

Rumor has it that the Cook-Off, hosted by these three teams of firefighters, may offer another draw.

“Last year, there were two guys taking their shirts off,” Skaer said. “We may do that again. I can’t say we will — but I can’t say we won’t.”

Prize money from the Firefighter Cook-Off will be donated to support Dave Repsher and his family during his recovery.

Audiences will have multiple opportunities to cheer on their favorite pigs — as well as geese and ducks — at the Pig Races.

“It’s not a hard career for the 8-week-old piglets,” said Jennifer Gregston, of Happy Hallow Ranch. “In fact, it’s very rewarding for them. They sleep, run around and then get milk. The winner gets an Oreo cookie.”

Races amongst the geese and ducks have the added thrill of unpredictability.

“You never know what will happen,” she said. “The geese and ducks like to take the scenic route, sometimes waddling, flying or just meandering, depending upon what mood they are in.”

“You never know who is going to win,” she said. “It all comes down to who is most motivated by their treat.”

BBQ CHallenge

Doug Pierce, of Arapahoe Cafe — last year’s local favorite in the event — has been competing with his signature barbecue for 24 years, even before the Colorado BBQ Challenge was a sanctioned event. Here is a preview of the mouth-watering offerings that attendees can expect this year from the Dillon restaurant: Pierce’s award-winning ribs, smoked cheddar mac and cheese, Carolina pulled pork and Jake’s beef brisket.

“This event gets into your blood,” Pierce said. “Barbecue is not just about the food, it’s a social event. It about people getting together, and about camaraderie. And I like to say that what’s different about what we do versus some of the others — is love.”

Chef David Welch, of Food Hedz, will also be offering tempting morsels to audiences, as part of a cooking demo on the BlueStar Kitchen stage.

“I talk up the BBQ Challenge, and I talk up Frisco as the best town in the world,” Welch said.

He plans to demo the preparation of various seafood dishes, including grilled shrimp and mini fish tacos with a variety of different ingredients.

More details about the Colorado BBQ Challenge can be found at http://www.friscobbq.com and by calling 800-424-1554.

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