The town of Frisco announced Saturday the full schedule for this weekend’s 21st Annual Colorado Barbecue Challenge, which begins with a kickoff concert Thursday, June 12 at 8 p.m.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event, held this year June 13 and 14, will attract more than 70 teams from across the country to compete for top honors as the best barbecuers in the Rocky Mountains. The challenge includes pig races, a 6K Bacon Burner run, live music, five chef demos, a ticketed Breckenridge Distillery whiskey/behind-the-scenes barbecue tour, and of course, barbecue.
The first official state barbecue challenge was held in Frisco, Colorado, in 1993, with 12 teams — split almost 50-50 between Frisco-area professional and amateur chefs. The event was first held at the Frisco Historic Park and later grew to encompass two blocks of Main Street. Now in its 21st year, the challenge extends over six blocks of Main Street and trickles onto side streets.
“When you attend a barbecue festival you expect a good time and exceptional barbecue. Frisco delivers both in a quintessential western mountain town on the shores of Dillon Reservoir and in the embrace of Mount Royal,” said Nora Gilbertson, event manager for the town of Frisco, in a press release. “This year we filled our barbecue competitor spots in record time. And that speaks not only to the love people feel for this festival, but also to the fierce competition which will deliver the best barbecue you’ll have in Colorado this year.”
The event is open to the public with free live music from The London Souls, Mile High 101 Rock Band, Naive Melodies, the Tab Benoit Band, Beau Thomas, Charlie Hunter, Rebirth Brass Band and Bonerama.
Chef demonstrations will feature four local chefs and celebrity chef Kelly Liken, of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, who has appeared on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, NBC TODAY Show, Bravo’s Season 7 of Top Chef D.C. and is a participating chef for the James Beard national Celebrity Chef Tour.
The Breckenridge Distillery Whiskey Tour will show how rubs, sticks, pellets, temperature and cut can make a difference and focus on how award-winning craft spirits are created. Tickets are $100 each.
Over the past 20 years, Frisco has partnered with nonprofits to put on the BBQ Challenge and raised more than $800,000 for nonprofits. This year proceeds from the Colorado BBQ Challenge will benefit more than six nonprofits, including Advocates for Victims of Assault, the Colorado Restaurant Association-Summit County Chapter, High Country Conservation Center, Summit County Chamber of Commerce, Mountain Mentors and Women of the Summit.
For more information about the Bacon Burner 6k, go to BaconBurner.com. To register for the kids BBQ competition or learn more about the Colorado BBQ Challenge, visit FriscoBBQ.com or call 1-800-424-1554.