Gilchrist: Holy Smoke! Gear up for the Frisco BBQ Challenge! |

Gilchrist: Holy Smoke! Gear up for the Frisco BBQ Challenge!

by Micaela Gilchrist

Brothers and sisters, I’m here to spread The Word, and The Word is barbecue. The high holy days will soon be upon us. Let us give thanks and praise for The Frisco BBQ Challenge, hosted this year on Main Street, Frisco from Thursday, June 14 through Saturday, June 16. Break out your fat pants and prepare to be raptured in all the right places.

Soon, the aroma of pecan wood smoke and succulent crackling pork will rise above the pine forests and linger in the valley. This year, 65 teams from the Kansas City Barbeque Society will compete for $17,000 in prizes, but you, my hungry friend, are going to be the big winner next weekend. You’re going to enjoy great barbecue from the South and the Midwest.

You’ll get the chance to experience barbecue from Kansas City, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Texas. Each state has a unique range of barbecue styles. Try a little barbecue from every booth. These barbecue masters offer the finest examples of pork and beef prepared with dry and wet rubs, light tomato, heavy tomato, vinegar and pepper and mustard sauces.

Don’t be like me. Last year, I waited to eat barbecue until after I had finished my volunteer shift as a server in one of the beer booths. By that time, the most popular vendors had run out of pork. This year, I shall atone by eating early and often. I suggest you do the same.

A concert by The Motets kicks off the festivities on Thursday night, June 14 on the Main Stage at Madison and Main in Frisco. Vendors begin serving food the following day on Friday, June 15 at 11am. I will be ready with my Hog Back Tickets and my Taser, so cut ahead of me in line at your own peril.

Some tips if you attend:

Get to Frisco early for the best parking. If you’re coming from Denver, you can take the ski bus to Frisco and avoid the hassle of parking all together. Another option is to park at the Summit Middle School and ride the shuttle bus to the event.

Entry to the event, musical entertainment, chef demonstrations and pig races is free, but you’ll need to buy Hog Back tickets for food and beverages. Vendors don’t accept cash or plastic. So, buy your Hog Back tickets first. One Hog Back ticket equals $1. Most food items will cost you 4-5 Hog Back tickets. Beer is 5 Hog Back tickets. Wine and hard liquor costs a little more.

Have an eating strategy: Don’t fill up on one plate. Sample all of the barbecue offerings. Go light on the side dishes and bread. Focus on the stars of this show; barbecued pork and beef. The best approach is to share with a friend and try as many different offerings from as many vendors as possible. Make a day of it and stay a while. Eat a little, dance to the great live music, shop on Main Street and then, eat a little more.

We, the people selling Hog Back tickets, serving beer and standing by the recycle bins are local volunteers. Our feet hurt, we smell like apple wood smoke and burnt ends, but we’re happy to see you. Be nice to us.

Swing by beer booth #1 on Saturday, June 16 between 1-4 p.m. and say hello. I’ll be serving beer and I think we should talk about that last email you sent me. An added bonus: spontaneous singing. Last year, the retirees pouring beer in my booth sang “Blue Moon” in perfect harmony every time a customer ordered one.

Wear a hat and sunblock. We worried about your bright pink sunburned scalp last year.

Mountain people, we’ll see you next weekend at the barbecue. In the meantime, take a look at the official event website:

Micaela Gilchrist lives in Frisco and can be reached at

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