The first official state BBQ challenge was held in Frisco, Colorado in 1993, with only 12 teams – split almost 50-50 between Frisco-area professional and amateur chefs. During the first few years, the event was held at the Frisco Historic Park eventually growing to encompass two blocks of Main Street. Now in its 21st year, the Colorado BBQ Challenge extends over six blocks of Main Street Frisco and trickles onto many side streets.
The Colorado BBQ Challenge is a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition. KCBS sanctions BBQ and grilling competitions across the U.S. and promotes barbeque as America’s cuisine. In addition, KCBS has an extensive Certified Barbeque Judging program. It is the largest society of barbeque enthusiasts in the world. Winners of the Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco are eligible to compete in the American Royal – the World Series of Barbecue.
“When you attend a BBQ festival you expect a good time and exceptional BBQ. Frisco delivers both in a quintessential western mountain town on the shores of Dillon Reservoir and in the embrace of Mount Royal. This year we filled our BBQ 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 BBQ you’ll have in Colorado this year,” stated Nora Gilbertson, Event Manager for the Town of Frisco.
For the 3rd year, there will be an opportunity to run off a day of BBQ feasting with the Bacon Burner 6K run on Saturday, June 14th at 9:30 a.m. The Bacon Burner 6k is a 3.8 mile out-and-back run which will take place on a paved recreational path with great views of Dillon Reservoir, and which even includes a bacon aid station. All racers will receive a Bacon Burner t-shirt and all registrants 21 and older will also receive a free beer ticket to redeem at the BBQ Challenge. The race is open to all ages and abilities and strollers are welcome. Go to BaconBurner.com for registration.
The Colorado BBQ Challenge is the perfect event for everyone’s inner foodie. And the chef demos on the Viking Chef Demonstration Stage provide the ideal setting for some incredible cooking inspiration. The Viking Stage will host five chefs who will bring the flavors of summer to Frisco on the Viking Chef Demonstration Stage. There will be 4 local chefs and celebrity Chef Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. Chef Liken has appeared on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, NBC TODAY Show, as well as a contestant on 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 is the perfect event if you are interested in learning more about BBQ and whiskey. An inside look into the world of competition BBQ, this tour elegantly illustrates that rubs, sticks, pellets, temperature and cut can mean the difference between good food and BBQ acclaim. And the whiskey tasting will bring into focus what it takes to create award winning craft spirits. Tickets are $100 per person and are available at FriscoBBQ.com.
The Colorado BBQ Challenge is open to the public with free live music including a kick off concert on June 12 at 8:00 pm with the London Souls. The live music continues at the BBQ challenge on Friday and Saturday including: Mile High 101 Rock Band, Naïve Melodies, the Tab Benoit Band, Beau Thomas, Charlie Hunter, Rebirth Brass Band and Bonerama.
Kids are not forgotten at the Colorado BBQ Challenge. Not only are there pig races, street performers, bounce houses and kid friendly hamster balls, there is also a kids’ BBQ competition, Kids Q, on Friday night. The Kids Q has 2 age groups, 10 and under and 11-15. Grills will be provided in a designated kids BBQ area. A parent must be present with the child throughout the entire cooking process and parents may help. Anything goes in this contest so kids may prepare whatever they like. Go to FriscoBBQ.com to register.
Over the past 20 years the Town of Frisco has partnered with non-profits to put on the BBQ Challenge and over $800,000 has been for non-profits during that time. This year proceeds from the Colorado BBQ Challenge will benefit more than 6 non-profits, including Advocates for Victims of Assault, the Colorado Restaurant Association-
For more details about the Colorado Barbeque Challenge, lodging specials and activities, visit FriscoBBQ.com or call 1-800-424-1554.