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Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s fire, there’s barbecue. That’s more or less the motto of Frisco’s annual Colorado BBQ Challenge, whose heat begins rising today and continues through Saturday night on the town’s Main Street.

“We’re the largest barbecue competition in Colorado, with 68 teams across the country competing for the top title,” says special events manager Suzanne Lifgren. “Whoever wins this gets an automatic invitation to compete in the Royal in Kansas City, which is pretty much the grand champion of barbecue competitions.”

The battle, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, kicks off Thursday night with a concert by the Radiators. On Friday, the challenge heats up with grilling demonstrations, one of which will be taught by Top Chef season-three finalist Brian Malarkey, followed by a Stranahan’s Whiskey Rub It, Smoke It, Sip It behind-the-scenes barbecue tour. New this year is a people’s choice sauce award contest. “We’ve added a sauce tent with more than 25 different barbecue sauces, and the public will get to vote for their favorite,” Lifgren says. Winners of the BBQ Challenge will be announced Saturday afternoon, with the victors (and losers, we assume) celebrating with toasts in the town bars. Admission to the BBQ Challenge is free, but bring green for food and drinks. To find out more, go to
June 17-19, 2010


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