John Mayall, Tommy Castro & the Painkillers headline Blues, Brews & BBQ
If you go …
What: Blues, Brews & BBQ.
When: Noon to 6 p.m. May 28-29.
Where: Beaver Creek Village and Centennial Park.
Cost: Admission is free, and food and beverage are available for purchase. Unlimited microbrew tasting is $40 per person, plus processing fee, in advance or $50 at the door; participants receive a commemorative tasting glass. Registration for the Big Green Egg Backyard BBQ Amateur Competition is $85 per team.
More information: Purchase advance tickets and register for the amateur competition online at http://www.beavercreek.com.
BEAVER CREEK — Start the summer season with the Blues, Brews & BBQ festival, tantalizing taste buds for the 13th year on Memorial Day weekend. Top barbecue connoisseurs from across the state join local chefs, musicians and microbreweries for the festival, which will be held in Beaver Creek Village on May 28 and 29.
Festivalgoers will be regaled with blues jams from The Godfather of British Blues and Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Mayall on Saturday afternoon, May 28. The Sunday, May 29, festivities close out with Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, winners of the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award.
Colorado chefs reach for their top-shelf ingredients, recipes and techniques to barbecue, smoke and roast Colorado meats, poultry and summer vegetables. All barbecue vendors will be competing for bragging rights and $1,750 in cash prizes. Attendees will have the chance to vote on Saturday and Sunday to determine the People’s Choice winner for Best Barbecue Vendor. Selected winners will be crowned on Sunday at 4:10 p.m. on the main stage in Beaver Creek Plaza.
A free Kids’ Zone will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, providing activities and arts and crafts designed for kids 12 and younger. Also available for kids is a chance to test their endurance on the mechanical bull or jump around in the bounce house.
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Both days’ musical lineups will open with Shari Puorto, a blues-rock musician from California. Her energetic performance will kick off the festival from noon to 2 p.m. each day. A true master of the harmonica, Gary Allegretto will then take the stage at 2:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Allegretto also will teach a free “Learn to Play the Blues Harmonica Instantly” clinic on Saturday and Sunday at noon in the demo area next to the Covered Bridge in Beaver Creek Village. Participants will take home their own Hohner Harmonicas.
Following Allegretto on Saturday, Mayall takes the stage at 4:30 p.m. Mayall’s blues-rock infuses keyboard and harmonica with classic blues guitar. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he founded John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, featuring the early sounds of legends Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood. Sunday’s festivities close out at 4:30 p.m. with the high-energy stylings of Tommy Castro & the Painkillers. Captivating audiences for more than 40 years, the band brings soulful grit and dynamic guitar licks to contemporary blues-rock.
Microbrews and more
Experience one of the largest exclusively Colorado microbrewery beer tastings in the state from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. The Microbrew Festival features more than 80 concoctions from more than 30 Colorado-based breweries. The event will be held outdoors at Centennial Park, located at the base of the Buckaroo Express Gondola. The event’s nonprofit beneficiary, Vail Veterans Foundation, will receive a portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold.
Sunday’s Big Green Egg Backyard BBQ Amateur Competition returns for its fourth year, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teams made up of one to three amateur chefs will receive a mystery grilling meat and side dish items to design and prepare in three hours using a ceramic Big Green Egg cooker. A panel of professional judges will determine the winner. The event takes place at the Beaver Creek Covered Bridge, and the winning team will receive a Big Green Egg, valued at $1,049.
Purchase advance tickets to the Microbrew Festival and register for the Big Green Egg Backyard BBQ Amateur Competition online at http://www.beavercreek.com.