Attention barbecue enthusiasts - saucy, porky goodness will be served all weekend. The savory scents alone may be enough to drive some hungry locals to gluttony. Just sayin'.The sixth annual Colorado Pork 'n Hops BBQ Challenge kicks off today, Sept. 7, at Lincoln Park and it will carry on through Saturday, celebrating barbecue from a variety of award-winning cooking teams. Local vendors, as well as a beer tent, will also provide lots of tasty options, along with music and a BBQ Challenge tasting. According to GJ Parks and Recreation event coordinator Larry Manchester, 50 teams from across the country are competing for bragging rights, more than $20K in cash and prizes, and the grand champion will win a spot in Las Vegas' World Food Championships this fall. It's going to be a sizable event, too - more than 13,000 people are expected to join in the fun.Friday general admission is $15 and Saturday it's $20. General admission gets you in the gates for the music; but food, drinks and kids activities are extra, Manchester noted.To taste the competition, the US Bank "People's Choice" Professional BBQ Sampling Saturday is only $5 for 10 samples, and that's on top of the entrance fee. It kicks off at 1:30 p.m."Buy as many as you want and vote for your favorite ('til samples are gone)," the Colorado Pork 'n Hops BBQ Challenge's website said.Manchester also said that people just wanting to go to Saturday's afternoon tasting don't have to pay general admission. It's a separate event in it's very own area.Keep your eyes peeled for a local BBQ Challenge contestant, too - the "Oops" team is headed up by Grand Junction's own Dr. Bob Sammons and they've competed since the event's inception in 2007.
Lots of music will play on the main stage - grab a brew and listen to the Gin Blossoms Friday at 7 p.m. Another band, Pineapple Crackers, will open for them starting at 5. Music starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m., with the country stylings of Jay Ketchum and Neal McCoy.Other notable event activities - a micro-brew tent featuring beer from across Colorado will be set up Friday; a kids BBQ competition is set for Friday, too; and there will be an amateur BBQ challenge Saturday. Plus, a kids play area will be set up for lots of family fun.For more information about Colorado Pork 'n Hops BBQ Challenge activities, visit www.porkandhops.com.