23rd Annual Colorado Barbecue Challenge

Get ready for a very delicious start to the Father’s Day weekend. Frisco is host to some of the best BBQ in the Colorado Rockies with the 23rd  Annual Colorado Barbecue Challenge on June 17 & 18, 2016, with a kickoff concert on June 16 at 8:00pm. This Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event attracts more than 70 teams from across the country to compete for top honors as the best BBQers in the Rocky Mountains. The Challenge includes pig races, a 6K Bacon Burner run, 9 bands, a Breckenridge Distillery whiskey tour, the BlueStar Firefighter Cook-Off and of course, a lot of great BBQ.


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 Frisco Main Street. Now in its 23rd year, the Colorado BBQ Challenge extends over six blocks of Frisco’s Main Street, and also spills onto side streets. Winners of the Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco are eligible to compete in the American Royal – the World Series of Barbecue.

 Frisco BBQ

Over the past 21 years, the Town of Frisco has partnered with non-profits to help put on the BBQ Challenge and over $860,000 has been raised 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- Summit County Chapter, High Country Conservation Center, Summit County Chamber of Commerce, Mountain Mentors and Women of the Summit.

“A wise man once said that ‘happiness is BBQ, friends and a backyard.’  In Frisco, we take that one step further, welcoming summer to the mountains by throwing an epic party. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your dancing shoes and don’t forget to bring your appetite!” stated Nora Gilbertson, Event Manager for the Town of Frisco.

Event Highlights:

The Colorado BBQ Challenge kicks off with a free concert on Thursday, June 16 at 8:00pm with Fela Kuti Tribute featuring members of The Motet and Euforquestra. The live music continues at the BBQ challenge on Friday and Saturday including: 101st Army Rock Band, Beau Thomas, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Mike Zito Band, The David Mayfield Parade, MarchFourth, Great American Taxi and Buckner Funken Jazz.

 BBQ PIG races

The Colorado BBQ Challenge offers something for everybody, including the kids. 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, June 17. The Kids Q is split into 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.

New this year- Chef David Welch of Food Hedz World Café will offer free demos and samples on the BlueStar Kitchen stage from 12:00pm – 3:00 pm on Friday, June 17. This will be a chance to check out BlueStar’s kitchen appliances and taste some delicious fare from this Zagat rated chef. There will be no formal presentation, just a great chance to drop in and learn from Chef Welch.

The 2nd Annual BlueStar Kitchen Firefighter Cook-Off will feature Lake Dillon Fire Rescue defending their 2015 title against challenges from Red, White and Blue Fire Rescue and Copper Mountain Fire Department. Once again this year, firefighters will compete at the grills for a 1st place prize of $1,000 for their favorite charity and a 2nd place prize of $500 for their favorite charity. Jeffrey Bergeron will be doing the play by play announcing from 11:00am – 12:30pm on Saturday, June 18 while a distinguished panel of judges observes. The judges’ panel will consist of Frisco’s honorable Mayor Gary Wilkinson, local restaurateur Bobby Kato, award winning BBQer Todd Jilbert, local Whole Foods marketing maven Stephanie Kato and Krystal 93 newsman Michael Ronnebaum. The public will also have the opportunity to sample firefighter cuisine during this event.

The 5th Annual Bacon Burner 6K run on Saturday, June 18 at 9:30am has become a BBQ tradition with bacon aid stations and whacky costumes. The Bacon Burner 6k is a 3.8 mile out-and-back fun run which will take place on a paved recreational path with great views of Dillon Reservoir. All racers will receive a Bacon Burner t-shirt and all registrants 21 and older will also receive a token for a beer at the BBQ Challenge. The race is open to all ages and abilities and strollers are welcome. More information and online registration may be found at www.BaconBurner.com.

BBQ Schedule of Events:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

8:00pm to 9:30pm
Fela Kuti Tribute featuring members of The Motet and Euforquestra
Music Stage (Madison & Main)

Friday, June 17, 2016

11:00am to 9:00pm

BBQ Challenge Open to the Public

12:00pm to 3:00pm

Free chef demo and tasting with Chef David Welch of Food Hedz Cafe
BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at 2nd Avenue & Main Street)

12:00pm to 8:00pm

Pig Races (4th and Main)
Races at 12pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm

1:00pm to 2:00pm

101st Army Rock Band

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Bacon Burner 6k

Registration and Packet Pick up

Frisco Town Hall (1st & Main)

2:30pm to 3:30pm

Beau Thomas Band

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4:00pm to 5:30pm

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

6:00pm to 7:30pm

Breckenridge Distillery’s Rub it, Smoke it, Sip it Whiskey Tour

Sold Out
Frisco Historic Park Log Chapel

6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Mike Zito Band

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Bacon Burner 6k

Frisco Bay Marina

10:00am to 6:00pm

BBQ Challenge Open to the Public

10:00am to 4:00pm

Pig Races (4th and Main)

Races at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm

10:00am to 11:30am

The David Mayfield Parade

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

11:00am to 12:30pm

BlueStar Kitchen Firefighter Cook-Off

BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at 2nd Avenue & Main Street)

12:00pm to 1:15pm


Music Stage (Madison & Main)

1:45pm to 3:15pm

Great American Taxi

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

3:45pm to 6:30pm

Buckner Funken Jazz

Music Stage (Madison & Main)

4:00 p.m.

BBQ Awards Ceremony

BlueStar Kitchen Stage (Frisco Historic Park at 2nd Avenue & Main Street)


Get ready for ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey legs and a plethora of delicious BBQ and great food to accompany it.

Video/Photo Credits: Town of Frisco

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