Leadville News – June 20

BBQ News: A Hit, A Miss and A Ticket to Ride

Attention all you barbeque aficionados! Heads up, to all you finger-lickin, lip-smackin foodies who just can’t get enough of that smoky, sweet goodness that comes fresh off the grill this time of year. Leadville Today (LT) is bringing you some BBQ news you can use in a segment we’re calling A Hit, A Miss and A Ticket to Ride. Find out everything you need to know about grillin’ and chillin’ at 10, 200 feet.


This Friday and Saturday the Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival returns to historic Harrison Avenue. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

A Hit: Leadville BBQ & Brew Returns

This weekend will mark year three for the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival as grill connoisseurs and microbrew lovers descend on America’s highest city to get their grub on. The annual event is back after a year’s reprieve due to the kind of local politics you need your boots for, so be sure to show up with your bib, some sawbucks and get ready to have a good time!

The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce hosts the event and promotes a family-friendly, festival atmosphere including live music, a kid’s zone and plenty of vendors selling their wares and promoting their businesses. The event kicks off on Friday, June 22 at 10 a.m. on historic Harrison Avenue and culminates on Saturday, June 23 at 4 p.m. when prizes for the BBQ competition will be awarded.

Of course, for the serious grill-masters, it’s all about the BBQ! And as a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) and a Rocky Mountain BBQ Association sanctioned event, there’s more on the grill than just that sweet, saucy goodness for the Leadville competition. How about $10,152 in cash and prizes?!


The stage is set for a good time this Friday and Saturday at the 3rd annual Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival. This year, the music stage will rotate to the other end of the avenue, where live music can be heard at Harrison and 8th Street. Se you on the avenue! Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

KCBS is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 20,000 members worldwide and is dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque. It now sanctions over 500 barbeque contests worldwide and the one being held in Leadville Today is – you guessed it – America’s highest! That special designation, along with the official KCBS sanction will bring some of the best competitors from the BBQ circuit into town this Friday and Saturday. So let the smack-talk begin!

Grill-beasts like Frank Dominguez have been coming to the Leadville BBQ competition since the beginning, and have learned from experience how the lack of oxygen affects cooking temperatures at 10,152 feet. He said, posting on Facebook: “This is our 3rd year in Leadville we got the altitude figured out.”

Per KCBS rules, there are 4 meat categories required to be eligible for the Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and the Top of the Mountain awards. In addition, for the top of the mountain award, you must also have competed in the Frisco Colorado Barbecue Challenge the previous weekend. 

There will also be 2 extra categories; side dish and dessert. And the competition will have something for the little grillers in the Kids Q.

Readers may find out more about the competition, music line-up and other vendor information on the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival website. It should also be noted, that there will be road closures and parking restrictions in place for this event beginning Thursday evening. The Leadville Police Department has also issued a press release regarding pets at this event.

A Miss: July 4th BBQ at Airport Canceled

For Leadville Today readers who may not be on Facebook, it was announced earlier this month that the annual 4th of July Bar-B-Que at the Leadville Airport had been canceled. That decision remains the same, as Lake County Public Works (the department that manages the airport) faces a staff shortage which has led to the cancellation of events like the annual Fourth of July BBQ at America’s highest airport. Here’s the official word from Madeline Cressley with the Leadville-Lake County Airport:

“We, at the Lake-County Airport, certainly have our hands full this summer with helicopter companies from all over the world testing in our high altitude. We enjoy their time spent in town and what they contribute back into the community. However, since we have so much going on at the airport this year, the Fourth of July is cancelled. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for our loyal leadvilians that have been coming to the airport each year, but please join us for our Fall Fly-in Pancake Breakfast we host each year this September on the 22nd . “

July 4_canceled

The annual 4th of July community barbecue at the Lake County Airport has been canceled this year due to a staffing shortage. But the parade and fireworks are still a go for now!

“What a bummer,” posted one LT reader. “I take my kids to that every year.” And even though several people offered to help/volunteer, at that point it was too late for a Plan B.

There has been word that the fire department will still have their ice cream social after the parade, but notthing official yet. Stay tuned, as the July 4th holiday takes center stage, LT will keep you informed on what is happening and where. And if your business or group has something going on, send an email to info@leadvilletoday.com or post to the Leadville Today Facebook Page.

A Ticket to Ride: BBQ Railroad

And finally in the world of BBQ hopes and dreams, this next event has it all. Because if BBQ and brews gets you excited, just add the third leg to that stool – scenic mountain views – and you’ll feel like you died and went to hog heaven! On July 7, a special Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad trip will depart at 4:30 in the afternoon for one of three of its special BBQ rides offered this season. The Devils Tail BBQ Special takes riders up, up, up the Arkansas River Valley as the sun begins to set over the two highest peaks in Colorado. All along the ride while soaking in the views, guests will be treated to some award-winning barbeque and brews (or wine) from its expanded spirits offering this year. This ride usually sells out, so to make your reservation, log on to the Leadville railroad website.


A ticket to ride on the BBQ Train is usually a SELL-OUT. #AllAboard for BBQ, Brews and Views. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

 The Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad offers a 2.5 hour scenic train ride through some of the best terrain the rocky mountains has to offer. At his point in the season they offer two trips daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They also have a number of special train rides including the upcoming wildflower rides as well as the BBQ trips. #AllAboard for summertime fun!

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