Every region in the world has its unique sights, sounds and activities, each as cool as the last in it’s own way. Summit County, Colorado is no different. Personally I’ve lived here for just about four years, but I can say that I can’t picture living elsewhere. Up here we like to celebrate summer with tasty food, live local music and a cold beer or two, like anywhere else I suppose.
Growing up in the Midwest, I’m used to a small town vibe, even being from a fairly big city (St. Louis). So when I moved to Frisco, I felt right at home, but there was something missing.
If you engage me in a conversation about food, inevitably the topic is going to get around to barbecue. And again, being from a Midwest city known for it’s take on the traditional Americana food group, I’m pretty opinionated. Luckily, at the beginning of every summer in the mountains, there is a Kansas City Barbecue Society event held annually 22 years running and trust me when I say that it is the one weekend a year that I can truly quench my barbecue jones. Main Street shuts down, people flock from all over the state, drinks are poured and it’s basically just a big party to kick off summer in the mountains.
I wanted to write about the Frisco Barbecue Fest to give you guys an idea of what life is like here. When most people think of living in the heart of high country, they think that they’ll be transported back in time to the wild-west days. In reality this is just as big of a place as any I’ve lived. With 5 different towns, making up the county they seem more like boroughs to a large city.
It’s as if Summit County is like the magical camping tent in the Harry Potter books.
It looks pretty dinky and dingy from the outside, but once you get inside it’s got anything and everything you could want and working for a marketing agency in a place like this is so hard to fathom, given that the advertising hubs of the world are typically thought to be London, LA, New York, Chicago, etc. It’s pretty cool to be able to ply my trade in a place where I can see some beautiful mountains right out the window.
But, back to the barbecue. Teams come to compete from vaunted barbecue capitals Kansas City, Memphis, St. Louis, Texas, and the Carolina’s all to see who’s is fan and judge’s favorite. Now don’t get me wrong, Frisco isn’t as big of a deal as say, Memphis in May, which is basically the world championship of barbecue. But, it’s nice to have a taste of home.
As a part time job I also work at a local microbrewery and was offered the chance to pour beers outside during the barbecue at our tent. Not only was I able to sample the delicious beer, but the culture of a barbecue festival, at least among the vendors is about as friendly as you can imagine. We were wheeling and dealing with our neighbors for tastes of their food in exchange for a cold beverage. Everyone was a winner.
This last weekend to me was the best of both worlds. I got to experience something I’d been missing since I moved away from home, but I got to experience it in one of the coolest places I can think of. Living and working here has been excellent so far. I’d recommend it, even just for a visit.
It was neat to see local businesses and restaurants interacting with the masters of the meat smoker. Everyone was excited and proud to show off what Summit County has to offer, welcoming those out of state competitors. This place is about as close as I can get to home while being able to ski every winter (there aren’t really any ski hills in Missouri). Locals and their businesses are here because they love living here. And with that being said, local businesses in this area tend to stick to their roots. Which means they’re not flashy, they don’t cater to every new trend and fashion, they have their passions and that’s why they do what they do.
We at Imagine That Creative are committed to helping local business succeed and thrive. Come on in for a free consultation and let us help you determine what we can do for you, especially if you’re as passionate about good barbecue as I am.