BBQ 2: Dillon’s set for sauce
DILLON – Summit County is about to double its sauciness, as the summer’s second barbecue contest nears.The first, held in Frisco in late June, replaced the original event traditionally hosted by the town and the Summit County Rotary in August. The town of Dillon is embracing the upcoming BBQ at the Summit event, slated for Aug. 13-14, continuing the tradition it left behind in Frisco. Like the Frisco event, BBQ at the Summit is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, which has 110 events nationwide this year. The Rotary Club’s Brenda Cameron, the “head hog,” said the society wasn’t thrilled with having to change partnerships, but it was happy at expanding its reach just the same.”The more barbecue lovers there are, the happier they are,” she said.People can expect a similar experience in Dillon, with a few twists. The “Buck-a-Bone” tickets sold in Frisco will instead be called “BBQ Bucks,” and the event will be spread around a larger portion of Dillon’s downtown. Organizers are expecting anywhere from 60 to 75 teams, with street performers and a stage on Main Street.The inaugural BBQ at the Summit will also feature a “Pig in a Poke” contest, where teams will be presented with a bag of ingredients and given two hours to create a masterpiece – a la “Iron Chef.”The Dillon event will also feature the new “Colorado Triple Crown,” which will name the best of the best from the Dillon barbecue, plus two previous events in Denver and Colorado Springs. The Triple Crown winner will be awarded as part of closing ceremonies in Dillon.”We’re always looking to add events that will bolster business in the town of Dillon,” said Mayor Barbara Davis. “We’re very excited to have the inaugural BBQ at the Summit in Dillon, and hope it will be a signature event for us in the future.”Kicking off at noon on that Friday, the BBQ at the Summit will go until 10 p.m. before resuming at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Winding down by 6 p.m., the focus will then shift to the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre, where Chris Daniels & the Kings will play as part of the free Sunset at the Summit Concert Series.For information about Dillon’s BBQ at the Summit, call (888) 499-4499, or visit http://www.bbqatthesummit.com.The move to DillonDillon picked up the barbecue event after some Frisco merchants complained last year that the former August event took away business during the peak summer season.After much debate, the town opted to move the event to June. Rotary, however, decided to stick with August, casting its lot with Dillon. “I don’t disagree with those Frisco merchants,” said Cameron, owner of the Diamond and Gem Exchange in Frisco and Rotary’s perennial organizer of the barbecue event. “Every street closure has impacted my business as well, but I always felt the event built personality for the town that would translate into other sales later.”According to Cameron, Rotary chose not to continue in Frisco for two reasons. The first was that, with one year left in a contract obligating it to spend $47,000 on the event, there was no guarantee Rotary would recoup that money with a June event.”It’s just a quieter time of year, and the weather can be bad,” Cameron said.The second reason, she said, was the feeling that, were the June event to go well, they might be asked to move it to yet another quiet season to build traffic. “Like, what … March?” Cameron said.By all accounts, this June’s Colorado Barbecue Challenge in Frisco was a success, albeit on a smaller scale than years past. Even with rain dampening some of the festivities, the event netted some $48,000 in profits for the town and its partner, the Summit County Chamber of Commerce and the Summit County Visitor Information Centers. “We definitely want to do it again next year,” said Frisco community affairs director Linda Lichtendahl. “It’s still our signature event, and the merchants seemed very pleased with the date change. She added that merchants also liked the smaller size of the event. Some had expressed concern that the Challenge had outgrown itself, with 82 teams in 2003 taking up five blocks of Main Street. This year, Lichtendahl said, 52 teams were on hand over three blocks, plus either side of Third Avenue.
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