Barbecue Challenge spices (and greases) up Main Street |

Barbecue Challenge spices (and greases) up Main Street

Kimberly Nicoletti

FRISCO – The ninth annual Coors Original Barbecue Challenge spiced up Main Street Friday and Saturday, attracting thousands of barbecue lovers – and a bit of a mess.

Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 people turned out to buy their buck-a-bone tickets, exceeding the 70,000 tickets purchased last year, said Don Dew, co-chairperson, known as “the head steer,” of the event. Twenty cents of every buck-a-bone dollar benefits the Summit County Rotary Club.

This year, 75 contestants competed, scenting four blocks of Main Street with mouth-watering barbecue, as compared to last year’s 62 competitors who filled three blocks.

This year’s event caused a bit of a mess on Main Street, as not all competitors had cleaned up their sites by the 6 p.m. Saturday deadline. Part of the problem originated with the awards ceremony, which took longer because of problems tabulating scores. The other part of the problem was grease leftover by vendors.

“(Sunday morning) I noticed some spaces were still a mess – not trash, but some grease,” Dew said. The Summit County Rotary Club will meet in a couple of weeks to discuss solutions to problems such as clean-up and score tabulation.

The event is one of the top 13 barbecue challenges in the nation, Dew said.

“People in the barbecue world, they just love our event,” Dew said. “It’s because of the hospitality that the town of Frisco demonstrates. We bend over backwards for our contestants. It brings a lot of the activity to the town of Frisco. A lot of the contestants spend the whole week out here.”

Most contestants hail from the barbecue capital – the Kansas City region – to compete in the challenge, which is the official Colorado state championship. Others travel from Texas, Arkansas and the Midwest.

This year’s grand champion was Legal Persuasion, of Osborne, Kan., racking up the highest number of points overall in all categories. It won $1,000, a King Fisher Country Cooker valued at $1,800 and an invitation to compete at the American Royal in Kansas City, Kan., in October.

Thirteen tables of six judges awarded points to each contestant in categories including pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, side dishes, dessert and miscellaneous, such as rabbit, venison, salmon and scallops. Entries were judged on appearance, taste and tenderness.

All judges are trained by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and must take a judging oath. They assess each entry on its own merit, as opposed to comparing it with other dishes. Each entry begins with nine points, then judges subtract one point for each negative aspect regarding presentation, taste and moistness, or tenderness. Judges do not know which restaurant the food sample came from and must remain silent while the entry is passed around the table. If contestants tie, a computer randomly chooses the winner.

Judging takes about three hours, and they are cautioned just to sample, rather than scarf, all of the dishes presented – or they would end up consuming 2-4 pounds of meat during the process.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

Two men arrested at Barbecue Challenge

FRISCO – Two residents of Summit County were arrested at 12:55 a.m. Saturday in connection with the assault of a Breckenridge man at the Coors Original Barbecue Challenge on Main Street.

The disturbance began when three men, whose names had not been released by the Frisco Police Department as of press time, caused a disturbance with competitors of the Barbecue Challenge.

“They were loud and obnoxious toward the competitors, trying to get free food,” Frisco Officer Dave Coulter said.

Coulter said two of the three men pushed a Breckenridge resident against solid objects, resulting in bruises. Witness reports were inconclusive as to whether the man was pushed into a speaker or a trash bin. The man, age 57 or 58, was not a competitor.

“Two of (the men) grabbed him, punching him, and the third one egged them on,” Coulter said.

Officer Jerry Stinnett arrested one man in his late teens to early 20s, charged him with third-degree assault and resisting arrest, and took him to jail. Stinnett arrested a second man, also in his late teens to early 20s, charged him with disorderly conduct, issued him a summons and released him into detox.

According to Coulter, both men were under the influence of alcohol. The third man had left before officers arrived, and the two men arrested refused to identify him.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

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