New York City's Big Barbecue Block Party will heat up Denver in August

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A signature New York City barbecue pig-out is being expanded to the Mile High City. Danny Meyer's Union Square Events is debuting the first annual Big Denver Barbecue Block Party, at Skyline Park August 4-5, featuring pitmasters from around the country, cooking demonstrations, live music and, of course, pounds and pounds of grilled, simmered, and slathered pork.

But according to Joe Vostrejs, CEO of Larimer Associates, Denver was almost passed over as the second home of the Barbeque Block Party.

Union Square Events first looked to Chicago in order to expand the massively popular event, but Pat Miller -- Denver's Gabby Gourmet herself -- and others pushed hard for Denver," he explains. "We said, Denver will roll out the red carpet for you. In Chicago, you'll be just another event."

Apparently Union Square agreed, but where to put it?

Their first instinct was Larimer Square but given the scale and scope of the New York event, "Larimer Square just wasn't the place," Vostrejs says. Skyline Park, on the other hand, seemed perfect. "I'm proud to say, 'We got it'. It'll be fantastic, something new for Denver."

Some of the cooks so far include: Kenny Callaghan from Blue Smoke in New York City; Mike Mills, of the 17th Street Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, Illinois; Drew Robinson of Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q in Denver and Aurora; Patrick Martin of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville, Tennesee; and Jake Linzinmeier of Telluride Ski Resort.

Admission to the party is free; barbecue plates will cost $8, while beer will go for $6 per glass and desserts for $4. Proceeds will support local charities.

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