Colorado Pork and Hops Chalenge
What better way to cap off a summer full of music and fun than a festival that has quickly put Grand Junction on the barbecue circuit map and brings great music to the Grand Valley?
In existence now for five years, Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge has quickly grown in popularity to establish itself as a premier barbecue event.
“Competitors come from all across the country,” said organizer Kevin Wodlinger about the event, which starts Friday evening, Sept. 9 and lasts through Saturday night. “Grand Junction is a real popular stop. We had five of the top 10 competitors across the country last year.”
It’s taken a couple of years, but the festival is perfecting what the locals want out of the barbecue contest, which is actually pretty simple: good food and great music.
This year, there will be a benefit tasting event in conjunction with the professional competition. For $5, people can taste and judge the barbecue from various professional teams to determine the people’s choice award winner.
Barbecue competition is limited to 48 teams, and this year, there is also a Joe Backyard Barbecue competition for locals to enter.
Texas Rib Rangers, Tommy’s Texas Barbecue and Four Legs Up Barbecue will be the official barbecue vendors of the festival.
Although there is no charge to enter the barbecue area from noon to 2 p.m., there will be a $20 admission fee after 2 p.m. once the music starts to play.
Local bands, which have yet to be determined, will open both Friday and Saturday for the main acts. Archie Lee Hooker, nephew of famous bluesman John Lee Hooker, will headline Friday night and Bomshel and Chris Cagle are the featured performers Saturday night.
Attendance for the event last year was around 15,000 and organizers expect an equally large crowd this year.