It’s that time of year again. The snow is melting, it feels like summer more than a once per week, and finally, the Frisco Barbecue Challenge is around the corner. Here’s what you need to know.
This is the 24th year that this Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) event has been held on Main Street in Frisco, CO. Events start Thursday, June 16 with a kick-off concert followed by BBQ Friday and Saturday.
This year, there will be over 70 participating groups between the competition teams and those who are selling their product. Usually you can find everything from typical barbecue fare like ribs, chicken and pulled pork to more exotic dishes like shrimp, bison, dessert, and kebabs. Take the time to try as many things as you can. If there’s smoke, there’s fire. And, generally, excellent barbecue.
If you’re used to how busy Frisco Main Street is (not very), this scene is almost overwhelming. This event can attract over 30,000 people which means that more than half of the street is shut down to auto traffic and is lined with booths, tents, barbecue and beer. Crowds of people come from all over Summit County and greater Colorado to sample the best barbecue you’ll find all summer.
Hogback tickets are the form of currency for the Frisco Barbecue Challenge. They can be purchased at certain tents strategically located throughout Main Street. They’ll run you $1/ticket and can be redeemed at any barbecue vendor or beer tent for food and drink. There are no cash vendors on the street; hogbacks are the only currency.
Most food vendors will sell different sizes of their offerings from one or two bite samples all the way up to a full plate with sides. Usually the food will go for 5-12 hogbacks. From each hogback sold, 15% goes to the Colorado barbecue challenge and has been a great fundraiser for local non-profits.
Now, with the all the details out of the way, we have some recommendations.
- On the days that BBQ is offered, get there early. These are mostly professional and amateur area vendors. They can and will run out of food.
- Lines will be long, be prepared.
- Stay hydrated. Frisco Main Street is concrete and asphalt and the sun in the high country of Colorado is intense. Big sun hats might be worthwhile too. Sunglasses and sunscreen go
- Parking is limited and Main Street is surrounded by residential areas. Riding the bus or biking would be a good idea. The Summit Stage (local Summit County bus service) is free.
- Come Hungry.
- If it looks delicious, it is.
The Frisco Barbecue Challenge is one of the most anticipated events every summer in Summit County. If you’re planning a trip up here or if you’re a local looking for something to fill your weekend, look no further… and maybe have a diet and exercise routine lined up for the week after.
- Thursday, June 15 – 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. kickoff concert only (no BBQ)
- Friday, June 16th – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. BBQ day #1
- Saturday, June 17th – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. BBQ day #2
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